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Lot #305
Ronald Reagan

"This is a country where any Tom, Dick or Harry can run for Pres. And come to think of it one of them made it"

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Estimate: $2500+
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"This is a country where any Tom, Dick or Harry can run for Pres. And come to think of it one of them made it"

Handwritten draft for a speech by Reagan, unsigned, five pages plus one correction slip, 8.5 x 11, for an address before the Gridiron Club on March 11, 1967. The address was given at the annual dinner of the Gridiron Club—one of the oldest journalistic societies in Washington—only two months after Reagan was sworn into office as governor of California. In keeping with the event's tradition, Reagan skewers his colleagues and himself, opening with an allusion to the 1966 midterm elections, in which the Democrats lost a number of congressional seats to the Republicans: "What a pleasure to be returning the visit so many of you made to Calif. during the last campaign. For some reason our paths didn't cross when you were out there. I hope you'll come again—often and always met with the same success."

He goes on to joke about President Johnson and defense spending: "The last time I had the honor of breaking bread in the company of the Pres. was at a luncheon in Tyler, Texas. That was a unique experience. It was the only time I've ever been in a place where everyone I met could buy & sell everyone I met. But Calif. & Texas do have things in common. Defense spending is down 4% in Calif.—it's up 4% in Texas. Now I don't mean to imply that politics play any part in the administration of defense. I'm sure there is some perfectly logical reason why in the list of cities to be protected by the Nike-X, Sacramento was omitted. Washington is a wonderful place to visit but I wouldn't want to live here."

He goes on to discuss the presidency in general: "I've been surprised since I've been here, how everyone is speculating about who's going to be the next Pres.—well almost everyone. And why not, after all this is a country where any Tom, Dick or Harry can run for Pres. And come to think of it one of them made it…Just the thought of being Pres. is frightening. Imagine being the most powerful man in the world—next to Robt. MacNamara."

He later takes aim at New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy: "I'm sure sorry about the fuss at Berkley when the Sen. spoke there. With his hairdo he was doing fine until he got up on top of the car and they discovered he wasn't wearing sandals. The Senator's announcement that he wouldn't be a cand[idate] in '68 caused quite a stir out our way—we thought he was running for mayor of Los Angeles." He closes with a parable about a man, his son, and a donkey. Reagan heavily amends and corrects the manuscript throughout. In fine condition, with a few old revision-related tape stains. Accompanied by a five-page typescript of a version of the speech, which has corrections in another hand. A fantastic handwritten speech draft, revealing Reagan's keen sense of humor as well as his political sensibilities.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: August
  • Dates: #527 - Ended May 09, 2018

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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