Falling Short

Speaking all too softly, Reagan raises a South African ruckus

The speech went through half a dozen drafts. Twice that many hands tinkered with it, inserting paragraphs here, deleting phrases there. Anecdotes were added, then dropped. Republican Senators trooped into the Oval Office to ! argue that it should be toughened; others telephoned White House aides to have it weakened. A committee of competing factions swapped sentences and traded adjectives. On the day the address was to be given, a former aide to George Shultz was called in to verify whether some marginal notes were from the hand of the Secretary of State; they were not and thus were ignored. The...

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