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Executive Decision

Notes & Transcripts

Former Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan tells of the time that he was aboard Air Force One. Donovan was in one of the rear sections of the airplane while the president was in the front of the plane in the office section. The phone rang in the back compartment and the voice on the line said,

"Mr. Donovan, the president would like for you to join him for lunch." Secretary Donovan straightened his tie and thought to himself how important he was to have the president ask him to lunch.

Just as Donovan was making his way through the doorway into the president's compartment, the red phone rang. Thinking it was the Presidential Hot Line, Donovan was again overwhelmed with the moment and his own self-importance. He thought of how special he must be to be present at this moment of executive decision-making.

Reagan picked up the phone and said, "Yes, uh­huh. Yes, what are my options?" Donovan's heart raced, his mind began pondering all of the potential things that could be taking place as a result of this one phone call. Then President Reagan continued, "OK, I'll have the iced tea!"

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