Rolling Out the Big Guns

The First Couple and Congress press the attack on drugs

Though some furniture was rearranged to make way for lights, cameras and teleprompters, the West Hall of the White House was supposed to look pretty much as it would on an ordinary Sunday evening. The atmosphere was to be friendly and intimate as the President and Nancy Reagan welcomed a projected 80 million television viewers into their home. Producer Roger Ailes, a trusted old pro, worked to make sure the camera angles were just right. Ken Khachigian, a former Reagan campaign speechwriter known for his rhetorical flair, collaborated on the address. The details had to be perfect, for the President and...

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