Working Hard for the Last Laugh

In Washington, humor has become serious business

Ronald Reagan trotted into a sticky situation and made it worse last week when he ad-libbed his quasi-joke about cavemen during a speech to the International Federation of Business and Professional Women. It was an unusual kind of slip-up for Reagan, who uses jokes more often and more successfully than any other President since John Kennedy. He is so adept, in fact, that his Democratic challengers are busy sharpening their own jokes on the hustings. Political humor is no longer a laughing matter.

Why is it now that if you are running for the most...

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