Prepping The President

During Ronald Reagan's intensive press-conference preparations, the tensest moment came on Thursday afternoon in the family theater of the White House. In the course of a two-hour practice session, Roman Popadiuk, a Foreign Service officer on loan to the press office, began boring in on Iranscam. The object was to make certain that Reagan would stay consistent, no matter how sharp the cross-examination. Popadiuk got so caught up in his role as a Sam Donaldson stand-in that Press Spokesman Marlin Fitzwater began to worry. "I thought we might all get kicked out," he said. "It was pretty tough stuff." Reagan hung...

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!