For Rhyme and Reason

Regan has served Reagan with a mix of bluster and blind faith

When Ronald Reagan decided to ask Donald Regan to serve as Treasury Secretary, the President-elect knew his choice only by reputation, as a Wall Street stockbroker and G.O.P. fund raiser. At the start of their first telephone conversation, Reagan made the mistake of pronouncing Regan's name exactly like his own. "It's Ree-gan," corrected the just invited Cabinet official. Apologized his about-to-be boss: "I guess I'll have to learn to pronounce it properly."

In the four years since, Reagan has learned not only the correct pronunciation but also that he and the ambitious, blunt-spoken Regan have more in common than rhyming first...

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