Scratches in the Teflon

On the eve of his trip to Europe, Reagan catches flak at home

It may have been Ronald Reagan's worst week in the Oval Office. His deft touch at manipulating political symbols faltered; the continuing storm over his planned visit to the German cemetery at Bitburg on Sunday put the President in a painful predicament with no graceful way out. His vaunted powers of persuasion could not avert a stinging defeat in the House, which killed all proposals for U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan contras for now. The Soviets turned more than normally truculent, and the U.S. economy developed some worrisome rumbles. Reagan's eternally sunny optimism for once clouded over. "He is in anguish...

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