Advisers warn President-elect to hit the ground running
President-elect Reagan must do a great deal, and he must do it very fast of he may lose the clout to carry his programs forward effectively. This is the verdict of Washington observers and politicians from both parties.Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Reagan's advisers are stressing this danger in their consultations with him, emphasizing that he must act boldly, forcefully, and imaginatively immediately upon taking office.
They say he must do this if he is to retain the public support he needs to move his programs forward -- particularly legislation aimed at curbing inflation , increasing jobs, stimulating production, and other economic initiatives.
Republican leaders across the spectrum of the party are stressing the need for quick Reagan action, both to retain his effectiveness and to avert GOP setbacks in the 1982 elections.
Rep. Jack F. Kemp (R) of New York, a candidate for a GOP leadership position in the US House of Representatives, says that "if the Republican Party fails to bring prosperity to the American people, they will turn away from our party."
His definition of success for Reagan and the party includes, by 1982, slowing inflation, giving americans "some hope peace can be preserved," and avoiding "ideological battles with labor and blacks" or the appearance of trying to "repeal the New Deal."
GOP National Chairman Bill Brock says Reagan must, fairly quickly, give the public the feeling that he is at least beginning to turn the economy around.
And Monitor conversations with other GOP politicians around the US showed consensus along these lines:
* Reagan, because of his impressive victory, will be greatly benefited in implementing his promises -- particularly his tax-cut commitments -- by the public support his win connoted. Congress, Democracts as well as Republicans, will honor his mandate, at least for some months to come.
* The Reagan "honeymoon," -- where public, congress, and press will let him play his hand without opposing him too vigorously -- may last a year or even longer.
Says one veteran GOP leader in the Midwest, "I think Reagan must move very fast. But the quickest he can really be expected to get his own programs into place -- and taking effect -- will be in about a year. And I think that the public or most of it will be patient that long.
"But if at that time, or even before, the economy looks like it is worsening -- well, Reagan, better watch out."
* Reagan should place great emphasis on communicating his plans to the public.
"Reagan can communicate," one Washington leader says in a comment echoed by many others. "He showed that during the campaign. He must keep the public informed on everything he is doing. And he must continually call on them for their support. I think that reagan -- unlike Carter -- has the ability to rally the people behind him and keep them behind him."
* Reagan must set up just a couple of priorities -- the economy, defense -- and stick with them.
"He must not scatter his fire the way Carter did, at least in his early years ," was a comment from a political observer in the Far West. This was expressed, in varying ways, by several others.