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A Letter From the Publisher: Jan. 28, 1985

2 minute read
John A. Meyers

Even as TIME reported the swirl of Inaugural events and personnel changes that marked the start of President Reagan’s second term, our Washington bureau was completing changes in its Reagan-watching team. Washington Contributing Editor Hugh Sidey (who last week conducted his 16th interview with the President) and Senior White House Correspondent Laurence Barrett have been joined by two fresh correspondents on the East and West Wing beats: Barrett Seaman, who has reported from the State Department for the past year, and Alessandra Stanley, most recently a Nation section writer.

– Stanley likens the initiation to “trying to jump onto a spinning merry-go- round: you close your eyes and leap.” Leaping into the Inaugural preparations, she discovered that “finding out which orchestras will play at which balls is almost as tricky as finding out which staff members will follow James Baker to the Treasury.” Stanley also learned that even the most picayune details of pomp get top-level attention. “At one planning meeting,” she reports, “I overheard the chief of Inaugural operations tell White House Adviser Michael Deaver how multicolored confetti could be made to stick to a ballroom floor: spread the floor with Coca-Cola.”

Seaman’s assignment for this week’s cover stories was to put together a picture of what the Reagan second term will look like. He found the task refreshing, even fun. “At the State Department,” he says, “one gets carefully crafted exchanges with sources who are focused on substance and reluctant to talk personalities. At the White House, sources are quite prepared to engage in discussions about the people around them. After all, they are politicians.”

Accompanying our stories on the new term is an eight-page photo gallery of President Reagan and 14 members of the Cabinet and White House staff. The exceptional black-and-white portraits were selected from nearly 300 shots of members of Washington’s various elites that appear in a new book, People and Power, by Michael Evans, the President’s personal photographer for the past four years. TIME runs these black-and-white pictures, ironically, just as it transforms itself into virtually an all-color magazine. There will, of course, always be exceptions to the rule, either because of color unavailability or the artistic or news appeal of black and white. In this case, in fact, four-color reproduction has been used to enhance Evans’ blacks and grays, producing a gallery that is rich in tone as well as character.

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