Tracking the Great Persuader

Or, how to tell an arm twist from a back scratch

It was countdown to roll call in Congress, and the vote on the tax bill in the House, according to all predictions, was going to be close. The White House knew that a little salesmanship was in order, and so the Great Persuader went to work. After it was over and Ronald Reagan had once again stunned the House leadership by picking up 48 Democratic votes for his bill, the President insisted: "There hasn't been any arm twisting of any kind." Shucks, no. But there are ways, all sorts of ways...

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