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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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were all made with his characteristic humor; and his relationship with Buckley, by the way, was always -- although they were at absolutely opposite ends of the political pole -- sort of suffused with a certain amount of humorous give-and-take. So neither of them, particularly Galbraith, was taken too seriously by the audience. But my speech was really serious. I didn't have any jokes in it. I had simply a very highly compressed indictment of the Reagan administration, and I expected to practically be booed off the stage when I began. But after about thirty seconds, the very first denunciation I came to in my talk, was greeted by overwhelming bursts of applause --




-- and shouting from the whole auditorium, except for a few seats in the very front rows, which were obviously occupied by members of the Harvard Conservative Club. But the whole rest of the auditorium was overwhelmingly on our side and against Reagan. So much so that during my talk, which was strictly limited in time, as was everyone else's, I had to hold up my hand and beg the audience to quit their cheering -- they burst into cheering every time I made some telling point against Reagan -- so I could get on with the speech and finish my speech. Because Elliot Richardson was holding very sharply to the time limit.

In any case, I only tell you all that because it was an amusing experience, and totally unexpected. Incidentally -- or maybe not so incidentally -- I turned that speech I had crafted for this occasion into a couple of Op-Ed pieces in the Times, which I ran almost exactly as I had written the speech. They got quite a lot of attention, too. I'm pretty certain I published that talk as two successive pieces. I could easily locate those.

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