Economics

Real Men Know That Shoes Are More Important Than Trade Quotas

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I am no Reaganophile (he lost me at "bloodbath"), but this Teddy Kennedy account of the Great Communicator, as lifted from an upcoming autobiography excerpted in today's New York Times, had me feeling a bit nostalgic:

I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's

While Mr. Kennedy had little patience for [Jimmy Carter's] piety and punctiliousness, he found the disengagement of Mr. Carter's successor, Ronald Reagan, at times oddly charming, though at other times frustrating. 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."