James Forsyth

Reagan’s consummate circumlocution

Reagan’s consummate circumlocution
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This tale from Ted Kennedy’s autobiography, to be posthumously published later this month, is classic Reagan and an illustration of what made him such an able politician:

'The senator said it had been difficult to get Reagan to focus on policy matters. He described a meeting with him that he and other senators had sought to press for shoe and textile import limits.

The senators were told that they would have just 30 minutes with the president. Reagan began the meeting, the book said, commenting on Mr. Kennedy’s shoes — asking if they were Bostonians — and then talking for 20 minutes about shoes and his experience selling shoes for his father. “Several of us began conspicuously to glance at our watches.” But to no avail. “And it was over!” Mr. Kennedy said. “No one got a word in about shoe or textile quota legislation.”'

It is, I suppose, proof that presidents can filibuster too.