The Reagan style -- 'insider' andm 'outsider' at the White House
The Ronald Reagan style of government already is becoming visible here -- long before he takes office. * The President-elect has virtually guaranteed he will not have his own Brzezinski, Kissinger, Rostow, or Bundy in the White House.
Reagan has set up a powerful buffer -- his cabinet-ranked counselor Edward Meese -- to prevent the presidential adviser on national security from becoming that influential on shaping foreign policy.
Says Mr. Meese of Reagan's national security adviser -- understood to be Richard V. Allen -- and the role he will play: "He knows that he is not to be a policymaker -- that he is to be a policy coordinater."
To see that Allen never goes beyond the bounds of that limitation, Mees says: "I will be there as the referee -- or, I should say, the enforcer. That's a better way to put it."
Meese was smiling when he used the word "enforcer." But it was clear that as Reagan's chief White House coordinator he has been positioned to keep the national security adviser in line and, thus, to prevent recurrence of a problem that has plagued recent administrations -- dual and often conflicting, expressions of foreign policy flowing from the State Department and the White House.
* Reagan makes it clear that he sees no quick turnaround in the economy.
The President-elect says he intends to move fast to put his economic program into effect. But Meese, under a barrage of questions on how long it would be before the the US would turn a corner on its economic problems, says only that "we should be making some progress by the end of 1981."
"It's taken a while to get into the problems we've got at the present time," he said, "and it's going to take a while to get out."
Meese and others close to Reagan say that he will move fast to do away with the Council on Wage and Price Stability, the unit set up to try to make voluntary wage and price guidelines work.
* Reagan doesn't plan to be a Carter-style outsider.
"He expects to be an insider as well as an outsider," one Reagan aide told a Monitor reporter. "He refuses to play the role of stranger, the role Carter seemed to insist on playing."
So it is that Reagan has come into Washington and had conversations with all elements in the establishment here -- making a special effort to see that his ties, from the very outset, are good with Congress.
He also has sat down with Washington, D.C., city fathers in both business and socail settings.
And, in addition to having a most harmonious session with President Carter, Reagan has talked to other members of the Carter team, including Robert Strauss.
The President-elect, with what one Reagan associate calls a "healing" intention, did not leave out a get-together with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
* Reagan will be conciliatory on some of the issues.
To those in Congress worried that his announced intention of ending draft registration might encourage the Soviets to new aggressions, Reagan has let it be known that he will give further consideration to this decision.
Further, Meese -- who will be no. 2 to Reagan in the White House -- says it is not known yet whether Reagan would be empowered to wipe out the registration program without getting congressional approval.
Also, despite his often-expressed opposition to the Carter- imposed grain embargo, Reagan may well decide to keep in on -- if, after further study, he decides that the embargo fits in to an overall approach to dealing with the Soviets.