The pony story, one that Reagan told often, epitomizes his unbridled optimism, even in the face of sheer adversity. Peter Robinson, speechwriter for VP Bush and later for President Reagan, recounts this story along with many other amusing and inspiring anecdotes of his Reagan years. Robinson, a lifelong Republican and the speechwriter behind the "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall" speech, delineates 10 sagacious lessons learned from his commander in chief, all of which I found applicable to my own life, in an entertaining and informative read that any conservative is sure to enjoy.
Robinson, just 25 years old when he became the VP's speechwriter, speaks candidly of the ongoing battle of the speechwriters, the unwavering true believers, versus the malleable, if not subversive, pragmatists in the administration. Of Baker, Robinson recorded in his journal in 1983, "As far as I'm concerned, the list of adjectives that applies to the pragmatist reads like the entry in Roget's Thesaurus under the heading for 'jerk.'"
Robinson tells of the amusingly pointed speech written by his buddy Josh Gilder that, for all intents and purposes, quashed the Democrats' bid for raising taxes: "'My veto pen is drawn and ready, and I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers.' Reagan paused for a full, rounded beat, his eyes alight with pleasure. 'Go ahead. Make my day.' A couple of hours later, the effort to raise taxes collapsed. Josh and I exchanged high fives." Classic Reagan. Firm, resolute, doing what's in the best interest of Americans, and, as always, sticking to his guns.