Never Give Up: Reagan is apologetic, but still defiant

Reagan is apologetic, but still defiant

The curtain is down on the summer's Iran-contra drama, and Ronald Reagan is getting ready for his final 17-month run in Washington, which could be a corker. In the Oval Office last week for an interview with TIME, he looked healthier and more vigorous than recent press accounts have portrayed him. Yet he has been burned and battered by events and people, and his caution was like armor -- a shield that every modern President adopts eventually, no matter what vows he makes about open communion to the end. "There's always a target painted on the Chief Executive's door," he says.