Beating Gloom to the Punch

Reagan seeks to defuse the double-digit unemployment issue

Battle-ready Democrats could hardly wait for the announcement. White House tacticians decided that the President should not wait at all. Through the week, Ronald Reagan kept hinting at the impending news about unemployment, hoping to blunt the bad tidings by heralding them. Admitted a senior White House adviser: "We've drawn attention to it and it won't be a big surprise."

It was no big surprise, but it was disturbing. On Friday the Labor Department said the unemployment rate last month climbed from 9.8% to 10.1%, meaning...

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