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Dec. 18, 1980: With the prime lending rate at 21% and expected to rise to 23% or 25% (welcome to 1980 and the Carter administration!) President-elect Ronald Reagan is weighing whether to declare an economic emergency when he takes office.
Notice the twin two-column stories at the bottom of the front page. In Times’ layout style of this era, these were called “corner stories” and prevailed for years. Also notice that one of them deals with Gov. Jerry Brown using tax money for political purposes (he reimbursed the money) and that his chief of staff was Gray Davis.
On the jump, the rest of George Skelton’s first-rate analysis of what Reagan did wrong on his first trip to Washington as governor and what he did right as president-elect.
Skelton says: “Most veterans of the Reagan era now agree that the former actor's initial poor relationship with the Legislature resulted from a combination of his ignorance of the subtle ways of government and his then basic disrespect for politicians generally.”
"He and all the people around him had the feeling that all the members of the Legislature were a bunch of bums, which is not to say some weren't," said a former Republican state officeholder.