MARTIN AND Annelise Anderson believe.
Look inside their home: Four large presidential seals hang on the walls. The largest, over the mantel, dominates the living room. Matching presidential and vice-presidential seals hang in the bright blue-enamel bedroom.
Listen to them talk: "Being in a presidential campaign is like being totally absorbed in a war without hurting anyone," says Martin Anderson.
"You see," says Annelise Anderson, "it really does matter who has that job, so you're working for the candidate and what he believes in."
"It's like the Holy Crusade," says Martin Anderson. "It's a revolution without guns."
Examine their 20-year crusade: Once they were the political odd couple, campaigning for Barry Goldwater on Manhattan's East Side, facing slammed doors and scornful liberals.
Today, Martin, 45, and Annelise, 44, are the Reagan administration's highest ranking couple.
He heads the White House Office of Policy Development -- a powerful position for Joseph Califano under Lyndon Johnson and for Stuart Eizenstat under Jimmy Carter. She is a top deputy to embattled Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman.
"When George Bush and Edwin Meese called and recommended Annelise for the job, I thought it just amounted to finding Marty's wife a job," says Stockman. "But she has taken to it like a duck to water. She's quiet but extraordinarily competent."
Like many others in the administration, each is now weathering the Reagan White House's major political storm, he as a good friend of national security adviser Richard V. Allen, and she as one of Stockman's assistants.
The Andersons say they are not conservative, liberal or libertarian. They are "Andersonian." By any Washington standards, their beliefs form an odd political stew.
They fought to get Richard Nixon in the White House and then battled him to eliminate the draft. Martin Anderson became the primary force behind the creation of the All Volunteer Force.
They believe in free-market economy as espoused by Ronald Reagan, yet as followers of libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand, they oppose government restraints, on marijuana and abortion, for example. They recently took on Attorney General William French Smith, who wanted a National Identity Card as a way of identifying aliens.
"The thing that impressed me the most about Martin," says friend Rand, "was how committed he was to finding a viewpoint that was his own, regardless of how different or unpopular it was . . . that is so very important . . ."
Martin and Annelise Anderson talk and think and even look alike -- round, cherubic faces, slightly turned-up noses, thick hair and large glasses. Their sly humor can sometimes overcome their usual earnestness.
Martin Anderson surveys a photograph of himself and some colleagues from the Nixon administration that hangs on the wall of their Georgetown home. "I guess most of them are in jail now," he jokes. "Before I went to the White House, I never knew anyone who went to jail. By the time I left I knew 20 convicted felons." The Beginnings
Martin and Annelise were the class grinds in college, the quiet and serious ones. He usually got A's at Dartmouth and then later at MIT. She was an exemplary student, handing in her term papers on time at Wellesley and later at Columbia.
They grew up in similiar working middle-class families, he on a farm in Massachusetts, she in the suburbs of Chicago. Their paths first crossed at a party in Boston in 1958, and after a few casual dates, they drifted apart.
"He called me again in February of 1961," she recalls precisely. They were married four years later.
College inspired in the Andersons political activism of a conservative bent, even as campuses were turning more liberal. In 1960, when John F. Kennedy was becoming a hero, Martin Anderson told his classmates Richard Nixon should be president. And in 1962, Annelise Anderson supported a little-known Republican candidate for the Senate seat eventually won by Edward Kennedy.
That same year, Martin Anderson began teaching economics at Columbia University in New York. "He didn't invite me to join him, so I left for Europe to travel," Annelise chuckles. By July 1963, he invited her. It was at Columbia that he began work on his controversial book, "The Federal Bulldozer," while she spent her days on the telephone as a Republican precinct leader mustering up support for Barry Goldwater.
"Actually, it was Annelise who was the original politician in the family," says Martin. "She had me out there campaigning when I was still teaching."
It was after the frustrating 1964 campaign for Goldwater that the Andersons discovered Ayn Rand. They read her books and became her friends. She attended their 1965 New York wedding.
At Rand's Manhattan apartment, they often sat around discussing free-market enterprise and the primacy of the individual. It wasn't the same as marching in Washington to protest the Vietnam war, the path followed by many of their contemporaries, but to them it was the future.
Rand was the exotic foreigner whose liberatarian views came into vogue during the '60s through such novels "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." The Andersons were enraptured with her philosophy and economic books, such as "The Philosophy of Selfishness."
"I first was attracted to her through her novels and the logic of all her ideas," says Martin Anderson. "I found I had already come to a lot of her conclusions. She believes in the importance of individual rights. She also has an amazing understanding of how an economic system works, and it came through in her novels in story form. And there were heros in the books, and I liked that. They may have been evil people, but they did heroic things, and they weren't beyond normal life."
By the late '60s, the Andersons were on the road to the Nixon White House. They joined the campaign early and were rewarded. Martin Anderson became a special assistant to the president under Arthur Burns, who coincidentally held the same job Martin has now; Annelise Anderson was appointed project manager of organized crime research at the Law Enforcement Assistance Agency. Her work there lead to the publication of "The Business of Organized Crime: A Cosa Nostra Family," and a PhD in business from Columbia.
They left the Nixon administration in 1971 for California. "That was the second-smartest thing I've ever done," says Martin Anderson. And the first? "Turning down Nixon when he asked me to come back and head research for CREEP the Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972."
But when Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy, the Andersons decided it was time to come back. They took leaves from their jobs -- she as a college professor at the State University of California at Hayward, he as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, the prestigious, conservative think tank currently in fashion.
"It was more of an obligation for us, not a decision," says Martin Anderson. Soon after, it was announced that Martin and Annelise Anderson had been appointed to top-level jobs in the administration.
They had come full cycle. Their 20-year uphill crusade, and singleminded commitment, had paid off.
" Their dedication wasn't a conscious decision," says their longtime friend, noted Republican economist Alan Greenspan, ". . . one gets the impression they were born that way." Martin and Annelise
Even outside of politics, the Andersons seem to enjoy the same type of life style.
They agreed early on that children were out of the question but they do have a 16-year-old cat, Taipan, which they acquired when they were married. During an interview at their house, Taipan strolls in, climbs up Martin Anderson's left arm, walks across his shoulder, and down his right arm before retreating under the glass coffee table.
The seven-room house is decorated with contemporary furniture arranged against rose-colored enamel walls in some of the rooms. In the living room is a large, double-door display cabinet: On one side is Waterford crystal, on the other, two hunting rifles.
The Andersons eat out most of time, alone or with small groups of friends, at favorite restaurants such as the Foundry. They love to travel, often taking long backpacking and skiing trips. He drives a gray Corvette. She drives a red Cadillac Seville. For the Andersons, the Reagan administration has provided well at a combined income of about $118,000.
Like so many young conservatives of their time, the Andersons were first turned onto Reagan by what is commonly referred to as The Speech -- Reagan's 1964 half-hour speech supporting the candidacy of Barry Goldwater during the GOP convention. The Speech didn't have much to do with the Republican Party, but was based on patriotic anticommunism and hostility to the federal government.
And while they try to be inconspicuous in their dealings with each other on a day-to-day basis by writing memos and communicating through secretaries, they do surface as a team when it seems important. A threat to what they perceive as basic civil liberties got them going when the National Identity Card was proposed.
Under that proposal, aliens would be required to carry cards for identification. Attorney General William French Smith favored the cards, as did the Presidential Task Force on Immigration and Refugee Policy. As OMB's representative to the task force, Annelise fought the proposal. Martin picked up the ball when the issue crossed his desk,
"They were relentless," noted one Cabinet member. The recommendation made it through the Task Force's final report, but it was dropped from the White House's immigration policy.
"We felt it was wrong to have a national identity card because it could lead to severe abuses by the state, it's the first step to a police state," says Martin Anderson matter-of-factly. "We believe that the more the government gets involved, the more they mess things up."
In fact, the Andersons agree on just about everything. "I'd be hard-pressed to come up with anything we disagree on," says Martin Anderson. She agrees. On the Job
Those in the administration, however, are able to come up with at least one way in which they differ: their work styles.
Just as he is preceived as the go-along-to-get-along type, she has quickly acquired the reputation of knowing how to play hardball.
In the past, the person in the position now held by Martin Anderson has played a dominant role in the formation of domestic policy. Traditionally, the appointment has always gone to a loyal soldier, and as Reagan's top economic adviser during the campaign, it was commonly thought that this job was his for the asking.
So influential has this office been, that agency heads have often looked at it as a thorn in their sides, and top White House aides have welcomed it as something to keep the Cabinet members in line.
Martin Anderson does not see his job that way.
He believes in the Ronald Reagan theory of "a very happy group," and thinks everyone should agree. Consequently, this leads some of his colleagues to believe he is not running his office properly, not playing devil's advocate enough, not managing his staff. This has surprised those colleagues who had anticipated that he would play a much stronger role.
"Marty is too ideological, too apolitical -- he's like the keeper of the Holy Grail over here," says a senior White House official who has worked with and likes Anderson. "He has a lot of intellectual capital, but he doesn't use it to his best advantage. I'm not saying there should be an adversary relationship between him and the agencies, just a healthy exchange of different ideas."
He's more interested in ideas than management, says one senior policy adviser who works for Anderson. Two members of his staff charge there's simply not enough for his 40-person staff to do because he is not interested in making policy. "He doesn't want authority," says the adviser.
Anderson accepts these charges with equanimity. "I'd plead guilty to that," he says agreeably when told his staff has complained about his management skills.
"Managing people doesn't turn me on," he says, sitting in his large White House office, surrounded by no less than 50 budget briefing books and scores of economic textbooks. "The idea of having a lot of people working for me and controlling them is not my idea of fun."
He says he is there to make sure the president gets the best advice and to make sure campaign promises are kept. In fact, he keeps bound volumes of all Reagan's campaign speeches and promises in his office to make sure nothing slips by.
"Marty's probably got the best knowledge of all Reagan's programs and policies throughout the years," says White House deputy chief-of-staff Michael Deaver. "He doesn't get into the nitty-gritty. He uses his time to act as a counselor . . . He's very much into that rather than power play."
And playing devil's advocate is not his idea of fun, either.
"Why would I want to get into an adversary role and compete with my own people?" he says in his quite voice, hands folded neatly in front of him. "It's counterproductive."
Annelise Anderson, on the other hand, will take on anybody. Even David Stockman.
At OMB, she is a program associate director in charge of the largest catchall of agencies -- Commerce, Transportation, Justice, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development.
"She can deal eyeball to eyeball with anyone," says Stockman. "She's always hardline when the pressure starts to come. I'm a compromiser by comparison."
Stockman found this out recently when the adminstration was trying to come up with a position on the Tris Indemnity bill. This legislation would allow the textile industry to file claim against the federal government for the millions of dollars they lost when they were required to treat children's garments with the flame retardant Tris. Tris was soon after discovered to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and the industry essentially got stuck with a lot of Tris-treated pajamas.
Annelise was dead set against the bill, claiming it set a dangerous precedent by allowing industry to sue the government. Stockman, on the other hand, not only voted for the bill when he was in Congress, but political considerations kept him from opposing it now. He needed the votes for his economic package from all the southern Republicans who are pushing the indemnity bill because of pressure from textile manufacturers in their home states.
Stockman waffled, but Annelise Anderson wouldn't budge. There still is no formal position on the bill, but many of those who were involved concede she won.
"[The Urban Renewal Program] has been examined in a very critical light in a book to be published next month under the respectable imprint of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The analysis by Martin Anderson is about as critical as a professorial tract can get, describing the program as a dismal failure . . ." The New York Times, Sept. 25, 1964
Martin Anderson is used to being controversial. Early on he made a reputation for himself by espousing not particularly popular ideas. He called, for example, for the abolition of the federal urban renewal program in "The Federal Bulldozer."
"He got me denounced on the Senate floor with that book," recalls Harvard professor James Wilson, then head of the Harvard and MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies. "There was an incredible amount of pressure from groups benefitting from the program for us not to publish. But I read it and believed it to be a sound scholarly study, which it turned out to be.
"Martin was intense during that period. He never backed away from the fight and had a lot of self-confidence," says Wilson. "He was not the sort of person you would want to have a debate with unless you were sure of your ground."
Not much about Martin has changed since those days, some of his White House colleagues say. Even though many had hoped for a broader policy role for him, few would dispute that when Martin Anderson takes on an issue, he generally wins. He is sometimes called an intellectual firefighter, and only gets impassioned on issues which challenge his philosophies.
Martin Anderson actually seems to enjoy all the fuss about his ideology. He is most alive when he is talking about all the feathers he has ruffled thoughout his career, even though his voice almost never goes above a whisper.
"People were downright hostile," he says. Referring to the publication of "The Federal Bulldozer," he says, "I remember giving a seminiar to some senior faculty members at Columbia, and it wasn't a very friendly group. Later, walking across campus, one head of a department actually implied that my tenure would be jeopardized."
But the threats didn't stop him from going against the tide.
He is credited with being the idea man behind the abolition of the draft during the Nixon administration, and today a great deal of his time is devoted to polishing up the All Volunteer Force working with the president's task force. "He believes the AVF is consistent with historical freedom in this country," says Doug Bandow, an assistant.
And recently he fought a proposal that would allow the federal government to give coal slurry companies eminent domain in order to build pipelines through states. He saw it as a violation of property rights, and representative of more federal meddling.
He is not a politician in the traditional sense. He is too precise, too technical. He explains his current responsibilities by pulling out lists and diagrams of all the Cabinet councils -- working groups set up by this administration -- which he organizes, and of which he is a member.
This precison translates into his personal life too. Darrell Trent, a close friend and now deputy secretary of Transportation, loves to relate the story of when he and Anderson first took up skiing. "Marty did all sorts of research to try to find the best, most efficient and lightest ski boots," recalls Trent. "We drove all the way to San Francisco from Palo Alto to buy them. And when we finally put them on to ski, none of us could move because the boots were so uncomfortable. We all had to get new boots."
Annelise Anderson almost invites people to underestimate her.
She is quiet and admittedly shy. Her reserved and self-effacing demeanor come through when she's being interviewed. She appears uncomfortable talking about herself professionally or personally -- except to admit she likes to jog, ski and play tennis.
When she is told, for example, that David Stockman speaks highly of her, her face flushes. "Really," she gasps. "What did he say?"
She looks all of about 30 years old, although she is 44. Her tiny frame and unassuming air -- she has had the same shoulder-length, side-parted, hair style since college -- allow her to go unnoticed. She is not the type of person you would automatically associate with a book on organized crime, an M.A. in religion and a PhD in business.
Until she speaks.
"She's absolutely amazing," says Pete Teeley, vice-presidential spokesman, who traveled with Annelise on the Bush campaign plane. "She has an incredible capacity to assimilate ideas and data nonstop. We were always amazed how she could stay out with us for dinner and drinks after a long day, then go back to her hotel room and pull together issue papers, and be up and alert at 6 a.m."
At OMB, there are about 60 people working for her, combing agency budgets, inspecting and auditing. During her normal work day, she is on the phone constantly, juggling requests and calls from her own staff, Cabinet secretaries and Stockman.
"Everyone here is constantly impressed with her grasp of all the issues she has to deal with," says OMB spokesman Ed Dale. "Her area is clearly the most eclectic -- I mean, what do housing, the airline pilots and the FTC have to do with each other? -- and it's obvious she has to do an incredible about of reading and work to have that grasp." The Survivors
Through it all, they believe.
"Of course I was worried that Dave Stockman might have to leave, because he has such an extraordinary understanding of the budget," says Annelise Anderson two weeks after her boss took a political beating for bad-mouthing the adminstration's economic package.
"I felt sad that it had happened. I really wasn't worried about myself. Maybe I should have been. I suppose it's just one of those things that has to happen when what you're doing is essentially in the public view."
"I empathize with Dick," Martin Anderson says of his longtime friend, national security adviser Richard V. Allen, who is being investigated for his receipt of $1,000 from a Japanese magazine. "I felt bad when I heard about it. You try to be extra careful about these kinds of things, but so many things are going on that are so important, that it becomes difficult.
"I was concerned that things like this happen. You talk about disappointments. I remember in 1976 when Reagan lost the New Hampshire primary, and then lost the second, third and fourth and fifth primaries. We were $1 million in the hole, and everyone was quitting the campaign. Now that was depression. But it comes with the territory. You just have to expect it. I try not to let it bother me too much."
It is one year into the Reagan administration, and the Andersons are tossing in the waves of politics. They've been doing it for years and surviving quite well.