Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
At the beginning of the line were the 147 "leadership" citations to that many members of Congress, at the end of it the retired army general whose public pronouncements on foreign policy so irked his commander-in-chief that he ended his career by becoming the newest verb in military-ese.
"I suspect they tried to make an example of me," said crew-cut, civilian-suited John K. Singlaub, the former chief of staff of the U.S. Command in Korea. "I understand that now when anybody speaks out, people say 'you better watch out or you'll be Singlaubed.'"
"You know," continued Singlaub, without a smile, "it's a terrible thing to have your name turned into a verb."
Terrible or not, Singlaub seemed to bask in his new celebrity Tuesday night at a Capitol Hill reception given by the new Coalition for Peace Through Strength, an umbrella group linking 45 organizations determined to reverse what they see as "the unilateral disarmament trend" by the United States.
Before anybody could say Coalition for Peace Through Strength (and not many tried), Singlaub, a co-chairman for the coalition, was pulled into camera range to share the shutter with individual congressmen and John M. Fisher, president of the American Security Council and co-chairman for administration of the coalition.
"It helps a lot if they send these pictures back to our districts," said Rep. G. V. Montgomery (D-Miss.) who had been invited into the coalition because his voting record implied support of the group's principles.
Those principles were summed up in rather strong terms when Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) lashed out against the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, charging that the United States is being "sold down the primrose path."
He called chief SALT negotiator Paul Warnke's "two apes on a treadmill philosphy - that we must disarm and then the Russians will follow suit - bunk. I don't swear normally, but if you need a swear word I'll give it to you."
Then there was that other subject of increasing seasonal interest to at least two in the crowd. In the wake of Illinois Rep. Philip Crane's announced intentions, Pennsylvania's Sen. Richard Schweiker was talking about being a GOP presidential candidate, too, if Ronald Reagan, his 1976 ticket mate, isn't.
"I expect him to be a candidate and I will support him. I'm not commenting on other candidates," said Schweiker, ignoring Crane across the room.
If Crane made it to the White House, would be continue to allow "the big rich media" to have the front row seats at his presidential news conferences, asked Washington Weekly's Lester Kinsolving. Crane thought a "rotation system" might be considered.
Over near the table where the supply of citations dwindled, Singlaub, who is educational field director of the American Security Council, continued to pose with a growing constituency of representatives. Occasionally former secretary of the navy William Middendorf darted into shutter range. "You fought a good fight," Middendorf told Singlaub, gripping his arm. "Bless you."
Singlaub pooh-poohed any political aspirations of his own with "a lot of people have suggested that, but I just want to do what I'm needed to do. I've retired, but I haven't surrendered."