Newswatch Thomas Griffith: Hype and Macho Rhetoric

Ronald Reagan pays a lot of attention to what public opinion polls say, including those soundings taken by the White House. If these show him standing low with women, blacks and Hispanics, he is soon on television protesting that he has been misrepresented. If polls show people nervous about his foreign policy, Reagan turns up in a jauntily tilted overseas cap at veterans' conventions.

"If I were President of the U.S.," Irving Kristol wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal, "my first commandment to my staff would be: Thou shalt not permit a pollster on the premises." Kristol is a...

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