A few years after my arrival as a Washington reporter, it finally happened: the president of the United States called on me at a White House press conference in the East Room. Live on national television, the Great Communicator himself, Ronald Reagan, pointed at me and bade me to proceed.
So I did. I asked him a question. And he was stumped.
Reagan was befuddled, but not because the question was complex or obscure or confusing or clever. He was thrown off because I broke what appeared to be an unwritten rule — I asked a follow-up question.
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