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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Republican newspaper. In fact, our general position has been much more, generally speaking, in line with the Democratic-liberal position in recent years.

And so, in this particular instance I'm sure that what the president said did affect me and did affect our editorial policy, because I know that I was quite aware of this criticism in subsequent editorials, and I think we undoubtedly did tend to begin to point out that, after all, the Republicans had a responsibility in this, too, even though they were not the controlling party.

This comes to mind as the kind of thing on which the president could affect us. On the other hand, he would not affect me at all in some of the defenses of what we called his own lack of leadership or lack of willingness to fight things through on some issues. There was a whole succession of these issues: education was only the most prominent of them, really the first big one. There was the tax issue: the reform of the tax bill was another case in point, to which the president felt we were not fair to him, and in this case I just think that he was wrong and we weren't affected by this criticism. In other words, presidential criticism certainly didn't make me automatically change, obviously; I don't even have to say that. But it certainly is true that there was a certain amount of give-and-take.

Now, I don't want to give the impression that he was on the phone with me every day or even every month. I saw him only a few times, but I mention his readership of the Times editorial page because it did strike me that each time I did see him he would start out with a discussion of the Times editorial position on any given subject. And I know perfectly well that he hadn't just boned up for my benefit that morning; he was a reader and he was

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