Election '84: Campaign Snapshots: Crushed Geraniums and Gay Caucuses

Ronald Reagan's greatest asset is his charm—something that flows naturally from him but that he can wield as effectively as a sharp rapier. I watched him charm a dinner table in June this year, a mixed group that included the coach of football's Dallas Cowboys and a Hollywood magnate as well as the guest of honor, Madame Jayewardene, wife of the President of Sri Lanka. She was very shy and ill at ease, but President Reagan, though tired from a day's travel, quickly sensed her anxiety and took it upon himself to entertain her....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!