Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State in that order, and should the President decide he wants to transfer the helm to the Vice President, he will do so. He has not done that. As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the Vice President and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course.
–Secretary of State, fmr. Gen. Alexander Haig, speaking to reporters after the assassination attempt on President Reagan
Ahh, who can forget Alexander Haig — White House Chief of Staff under Nixon, Secretary of State under Reagan, Allied Supreme Being in Europe, a guy who looks like he could play himself in a Robert Ludlum story? And, who can forget that memorable occasion — while we’re on the subject of the media and government getting weird together — when in answer to some question or another, Secretary Haig blurts out an assertion that he was “in control here” following the assassination attempt on Reagan downtown?
Leave it to my pal Gregor, who ran the Yippies’ print shop in DC — and his dryly-barbed sense of humor to give my muse a kick in the ass, with his comments that Haig was behaving like the coup leader and El Presidente of some Central American banana republic, giving his first address to the People, and his sarcastic throwing of stiff-armed fist salutes into the air and shouting, “Haig, Haig, Haig For Life!”