Washingtonians Go Wild As Gorby Plays Crowd
WASHINGTON — `THERE he is! Gorby!'' She is shrieking, this professionally attired young woman who a second ago was standing so sedately beside me here on Connecticut Avenue. Nor is she alone. Like teenagers at a rock concert, hundreds of normally blas'e Washingtonians are suddenly hollering and cheering across the street from where we stand: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is plunging again into the crowd.
Everybody hurtles into action at once:
Security men with worry-lines the depth of the Grand Canyon catapult from cars to try to surround Mr. Gorbachev.
As if a dam has burst, a torrent of reporters and photographers gushes down Connecticut Avenue toward the action.
The five-deep line of lawyers-secretaries-tourists on this side of the street edges forward. Security drivers frantically wheel their cars to form a line sealing us off.
``Over here, Gorby! Over here!'' our side hollers, waving desperately to attract attention. He sees. Here he comes.
The circle of security men and journalists, with Gorbachev in there somewhere, undulates across the street. They're 40 feet away, 30, now 20.
The crowd presses, but he comes no closer. At 20 feet he's almost impossible to see unless you're a second-story eater at Duke Ziebert's restaurant behind us, or a pro-basketball center.
No matter: Everyone whoops and hollers anyway. Hands keep waving as he retreats to the limousine.
For the second time in two US summits, usually jaded Washington has flipped over the man who presides over what President Reagan once called ``the evil empire.''