Nation: Meet the Real Ronald Reagan

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to the dry heat and flies, Reagan tries to explain what the place means to him: "It casts a spell on you when you're here for a while. Seclusion is the thing. Here there is real privacy." The roar of the crowd, theatrical or political, has been important to Reagan since adolescence, but equally important are the sounds of solitude.

If Reagan is elected, what would his Administration be like? Reagan could be counted on to live up to his rhetoric in areas where a President has a high degree of control, such as appointments to the judiciary and the top echelons of the State and Defense departments. He would attempt, to the extent that Congress would permit, to make good on his promises about beefing up the military, focusing initially on personnel.

If Congress remains Democratic and goes for big-spending programs, Reagan would use vetoes the way he did in California. He cast nearly 1,000 during his eight years as Governor, and only a handful were overridden. He would make a pass at dismantling the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. Reagan would use commerce and industry as a talent pool far more than Carter has. The regulating agencies would take on more of a pro-business cast.

Reagan's aides talk about attempting to restore the Cabinet's prestige and decrease the clout of the White House staff. Most incoming regimes give lip service to that idea; Reagan would be more likely to follow through. To fill Cabinet posts, he would seek men widely recognized as experienced, competent and stable. Speculation centers on such Washington veterans as George Shultz, Caspar Weinberger and Charls Walker, all onetime Nixon Administration policymakers. Two Democratic Senators, Henry Jackson of Washington and Sam Nunn of Georgia, are mentioned often. In the Reaganites' view, either would provide good performance and good public relations.

A Reagan Administration would likely focus its energy on a relatively small number of high-priority items. Reagan would move quickly to submit a tax program and a revised 1981 budget containing some spending cuts. Another early goal: some attention-getting elimination of Government regulations that affect business. A tyro in foreign affairs, Reagan probably would move more slowly in that sphere. But because he is a suspect stranger in capitals abroad, he would be likely to make some early gestures of reassurance to U.S. allies. One crucial difference between Reagan and most previous Presidents taking office for the first time is that, because of his age, Reagan would start out widely regarded as a one-term Chief Executive. That might have a liberating effect on his behavior and decisionmaking.

Whatever its specific policies, the general thrust of a Reagan Administration would be clear. The point arose during a discussion of his intellectual abilities. Asked if he thought that criticism of his mind was based on snobbery, he instantly answered yes. Then he elaborated: "I think there is an elite in this country and they are the very ones who run an elitist Government. They want a Government by a handful of people because they don't believe that the people themselves can run their lives. And this, I believe, is what the political contest has been all about in recent years. Are we going to have an elitist Government that makes the decisions for people's lives, or are we going to

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