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February 02, 1988
Ground Hog Day & Puxatawny Phil didn’t see his shadow—Spring will be early.
At our staff meeting some talk of coming Korean inaugural. V.P. cant go & I certainly cant but George S. & Frank C. are booked elsewhere. I’ve suggested H. Kissinger.
N.S.C.—Plans for mid east peace talks. Habib met with Hussein who ex pressed great pleasure at my phone call. Discussion rages among all parties about transitional plans being accompanied by permanent goals—but the plans become the permanent settlement. Hussein wants an international conf.
Time was short because Congressmen were due for discussion of “Contra Aid.” First meeting was at 9:30—2nd at 9:45 then a 3rd one. The 4th was a big one in the Cabinet Room. Finally at almost noon met with former Va. Gov. Chuck Robb—he’s on our side.
After lunch more Cong. meetings including 2 that were with single Dem. individuals. All the time of course I was also making phone calls to Dem. Cong.men & Sens. Finally at 3:30 went over for a sneeze shot & then upstairs. Still taking calls. Howard called me & we agreed to change our proposal to allow the Cong. to vote on final disposition of lethal aid when time comes. This is a concession by us but we believe we need to do that if we are to have a chance of winning the vote on the package. An early dinner then over to the Oval O. to broadcast speech on Contra Aid. Only CNN carrying it—the 3 majors refused which is an unprecedented affront & reveals where their sympathys lie—right with the Communist govt. of Nicaragua.
After the speech—Nancy & I go to the Capital Hilton for the big annual Repub. Eagles affair. Another speech—this time a short one. On the T.V. speech carried only on CNN phone calls afterward totaled 2134—Pro 1,878 Con 256 Favorable 88%. The Eagle affair was very pleasant.