What they think Reagan should say

PRESIDENT Reagan is going to give his State of the Union message next week, and a lot of people think they know what he ought to say about the Iran debacle. In a dream I had the other night, an indiscreet White House aide dropped on my desk the memos the President is getting from various interested parties. Here is what they said: Pat Buchanan: ``You are the greatest President of this century. The Iran mess is just an annoying blip on an otherwise magnificent Republican record.

``The Democrats are miserable carping critics who never will give you credit, but in your speech you ought to put a hot branding iron to a few wimpish Republicans who are not with you. Also the press. Especially the Washington Post.''

Lt. Col. Oliver North: ``It would be helpful, Mr. President, if you could say a few inspirational words about heroism and duty. (I will try to be in the front row of the visitors' gallery.) Then perhaps you could make it clear that I was only an officer carrying out the orders of whoever it was you think should have told me to do what I did. (Would it be possible for you to wear some kind of uniform when you address Congress?)''

Don Regan: ``Say whatever you want, Mr. President. Just please don't mention my name. Even in a kidding way.''

Vice-President George Bush: ``As you know, I've spent a lot of time out of the country attending state funerals on your behalf. If you could imply that I was generally out of town whenever anybody brought up Iran or aid to the contras, that would be helpful.

``Also, if you could slip in a line boosting Pat Buchanan for the presidency, that would be good. The more political bloodletting there is among right-wing conservatives, the better my own chances. And you know how dedicated I am to continuing Reaganism.''

Vice-Adm. John Poindexter: ``How about announcing the speech for Tuesday, then giving it to an empty chamber Monday? When they accuse you of disinformation, you can just ascribe it to forgetfulness.''

Robert McFarlane: ``Mr. President, you probably won't remember this, but if you could make it clear that I've reminded you several times that you did authorize my mission to Iran, also that I reminded you that Shultz and Weinberger were opposed to it all, also that I reminded you I never really thought it was a hot idea myself, that would help set the record straight.''

Sen. Robert Dole: ``I don't have any advice, Mr. President. My own motto is `Never throw an anchor to a drowning man.'''

Tip O'Neill: ``Democrats don't want to make political capital out of your misfortunes, Mr. President. Why don't you just tell that national television audience that on reflection you think most of your policies have been wrong, but that the leprechauns made you do it? Then tell a couple of Irish jokes and call it a day.''

Sen. Warren Rudman: ``Mr. President, I think you should apologize to the people of New Hampshire.''

Gary Hart: ``First the apology, Mr. President, and then you should announce that you are resigning.''

Sen. Edward Kennedy: ``An apology and resigning from the presidency won't do it, Mr. President. You must resign from the Republican Party as well.''

Ayatollah Khomeini: ``Tell Congress whatever you want. But tell the Israelis to send us more weapons.''

Muammar Qaddafi: ``Tell Congress whatever you want. But if the Iranians can get weapons from you, why not us? We're terrorists, too.''

Finally, a confession.

This didn't all come to me in a dream the other night. It came to me while I was daydreaming.

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