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May 04, 1983
Paul Laxalt came by to talk a little politics. He’s being pushed by friends who want to start fundraising etc. for ’84. We agreed it was not a good idea. N.S.C. briefing not as optimistic as the last few days re the middle east. Syria is poisoning the well and the possibility of an Israeli-Syrian (plus Soviet) confrontation can not be ruled out. Armageddon in the prophecies begins with the gates of Damascus being assailed. Out in the Rose Garden a little press ceremony with “Team America”—that is the Soccer team which will represent the U.S. in “World Cup”—1st time U.S. has ever participated. We’re trying to get the World Cup to be played here in the U.S. Congressman Carol Campbell brought in a young lady who is being honored as the handicapped person of the year. Mrs. Patti Just Long. Polio at age 4 & now in a wheel chair she is one of the prettiest, most vivacious, likeable persons I’ve ever met. Harold Russell was with her—he’s the soldier who lost both arms in W.W.II and won an Oscar in “Best Years of Our Lives.” Was Interviewed by 6 press members—on behalf of entire press corps. Think I got through it unbloodied—I’ll know when the evening news comes on. Dick Wirthlin with poll taken after April 27 speech. It did swing some people our way on Central America—but it was astonishing how few people even know where El Salvador & Nicaragua are. Spent balance of afternoon calling Sens. on Intelligence Committee re El Salvadore & our aid to the freedom fighters in Nicaragua. Dinner with Congressional Core group. These are the Congressmen who came out early for me in 1980. Nancy is in N.Y. A good evening. They opened up & let us know of some gripes they had & vice versa. I think we’ll all do better from now on.