MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: A Strategic Approach to Domestic Affairs in the 1980's by

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: A Strategic Approach to Domestic Affairs in the 1980's

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Structured as a ""memorandum""--and written in the second person--this inauguration-day offering is intended to set Ronald Reagan on the right course to a successful first term. Heineman is a former aide to former HEW Secretary Califano, Hessler is a Treasury Department aide, and their joint effort uses mistakes made by the Carter Administration as cautionary examples. The guidance is both simplistic and wholly administrative. The ""strategic approach"" advised--and set out at the outset--amounts to little more than figuring out, realistically, how much the president can do to achieve what he thinks he wants to achieve, and then ordering the presidential world accordingly. What follows is mostly obvious, ranging from a recitation of the constraints on presidential budget-tinkering (the spending side is largely locked into place by prior legislation) to tips on how to prevent leaks from the White House staff. There's a discussion of what kinds of people to appoint to what posts--the White House chief of staff shouldn't be a crony, something Reagan has already figured out for himself--and how to treat the Cab/net members. The memorandum's claim to being ""objective"" is maintained by introducing political issues as technical problems. The biggest economic concern, for instance, is identified as inflation, while another set of political principles would point to unemployment. Limited by its format and assumptions, the book is a mild, humdrum recap of observations made even on network TV.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1980
Publisher: Random House