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In California, according to a Democratic House leadership staffer, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi’s office refused until late in the day West Coast time to prepare any remarks by the leader on the passing of the President.
“A call went out around mid-day on the East Coast that Reagan might be in serious condition, and that party leaders should be ready. But Pelosi’s people basically said they couldn’t’ be bothered. [Democratic whip] Steny Hoyer had to get them in line. We got the impression they just didn’t want to say anything that would be construed as supportive of a Republican.”
Pelosi’s office also nixed sending flowers to the funeral home where the president’s body was being prepared for burial.
Back in Washington, staffers at the Democratic National Committee stopped a couple of interns who were lowering the flags to half mast outside their headquarters.
“The interns were just doing what they thought was right,” says a DNC staffer, who heard about the incident. “But somebody a bit more senior told them not to lower the flags until they absolutely had to, I guess when President Bush announced that all flags should be lowered. There was only an hour’s difference. It was pretty petty, but that’s how bad things have gotten around here.”