The Presidency: Life in the Capital Cocoon

Life in the Capital Cocoon

The phrase "inside the Beltway" has become a part of America's political language, given a boost by Ronald Reagan and George Bush, who use it to explain why they succeed when the Washington policy elite says they will fail.

Commentators like James J. Kilpatrick toss out the phrase to register contempt for a federal complex preoccupied with its own navel. William Safire says the phrase connotes something "of interest to tea-leaf readers of Washington goings-on but (is) strictly a yawner to the World Out There." Author Ben Wattenberg defines "inside the Beltway" as the "exponential expansion of what used to be...

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