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March 07, 1985
Another breakfast—more Dem. Congressmen—again I think we made some headway. Some of the Q’s. had to do with the defense budget & the farm problem.
We had a Cabinet affairs briefing on the Treasury Tax Proposal from now on we’ll spend hours dissecting it point by point.
Went over to E.O.B. & spoke (an annual event) to the Nat. Newspaper Assn. This time it was their 100th birthday.
Lunch with Tip O’Neill, Don Regan & Max F. Tip surprised me—He wont make an issue of MX but will not personally vote for it. He says it’s a matter of conscience; having the MX he says will provoke a Russian Nuclear attack. He cant respond when asked how we can remain defenseless & let the Soviets have thousands of missiles aimed at us.
We had a cabinet council meeting on management & admin. We’re working out a plan to sell off excess properties the govt. owns.
Big event was meeting with Polit bureau [Politburo] member (Soviet) Sheherbitsky [Shcherbitsky]. He had Ambas. Dobrynin & a couple of others with him. I had George S., Bud, Don Regan & a couple of others with me. He & I went round & round. His was the usual diatribe that we are the destablasing [destablizing] force, threatening them. It was almost a repeat of the Gromyko debate except that we got right down to arguing. I think he’ll go home knowing that we are ready for negotiations but we d--n well aren’t going to let our guard down or hold still while they continue to build up their offensive forces.
Finished the day with some photo ops—the Easter Seal Poster Child, Winners of the annual news photo awards etc. And another 6 P.M. Cocktail go round with more congressmen. They turned out to be Sen’s. I made the usual MX pitch & they seemed pretty affirmative.
The low spot was calling the Widow of our Drug enforcement agent who was kidnaped in Mexico. His body & that of a pilot were found. I spoke to her & his 11 yr. old son. He has 2 younger children also. What can you say.