The Secrets of Reagan's Success

I interviewed Ronald Reagan once, on an airplane, during the 1980 presidential campaign. I imagined myself an aggressive young reporter in those days, and I had prepared a series of incendiary questions that I have long since forgotten. Reagan was wearing a brown suit; his red foulard was tied in a Windsor knot. His hair swooped dramatically; his cheeks were an odd wax-museum rouge. We shook hands and came out fighting. At least I did. He cocked his head, smiled and flicked me off his sleeve. An entirely unnerving experience, but not untypical. Reagan's sunny opacity was legendary, especially when it...

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