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'Reagan Can Still Come Out on Top'

March 01, 1987

As I watch, with pity, the painful collapse of the Ronald and Nancy Reagan regime I keep getting the deja vu feeling.

In part it's a Watergate rerun, but there's more. It reminds us of the paralysis of the Wilson Administration when the President lay dying. It has elements of the Gerry Ford downfall and the Jimmy Carter wilt, but there are those other poignant twists.

The ailing President marching around in front of cameras to prove his vigor while laughing at the idea of problems.

Treachery and disloyalty in the presidential mansion.

The First Lady bravely sallying out to be photographed with adoring schoolchildren.

Homeless poor sleeping in the streets.

The White House chief of staff hanging up twice on the First Lady.

The ambitious Gen. Alexander Haig waiting in the wings to resume power.

Wealthy friends buying an exile house in Bel-Air for the tottering President.

Where have we seen this before?

In some ways it's like Baby Doc and Michelle Duvalier in Haiti.

But more than all the above, is it not Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos?

ZACHARY CHASE

Los Angeles

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