Meathead's Crusade

Rob Reiner has a star-studded bipartisan cast stumping for his tobacco-tax proposal in California

It is midafternoon in a windowless room in an office building south of the San Francisco airport, and the man once known as Meathead is perspiring. His beefy hands gesticulate and then clutch the podium as he confides his life story. "Twenty years ago," he says, "I had a tough time in my life. I got divorced. I went into therapy. Now I'm doing O.K. I have three kids, a good job." Pause. "A nice suit." The audience laughs on cue, and the former Meathead plunges on. "But the early experiences I had as a child directly affected how I functioned...

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