Welcome to the latest act in the Lee Iacocca-Statue of Liberty show.
Interior Secretary Donald Hodel recently told the Los Angeles Times that back in February, when the Chrysler chairman was fired from the advisory board overseeing Lady Liberty's restoration, lobbyists working for Iacocca tried to pressure the White House to veto his dismissal. According to Hodel, the lobbyists threatened that Iacocca would "bash" President Reagan, Hodel, and White House chief of staff Donald T. Regan at a Chrysler news conference Feb. 13.
Hodel's account continues: "The White House said, 'What about this?' and I said, 'Well, you can't be in a position of having Lee Iacocca roll the president of the United States, so I think we need to make our announcement that we've made our decision and it's done." Hodel sprang the news at a news conference that very night, on the eve of the Chrysler news conference (where, sure enough, Iacocca "bashed").
A Chrysler spokesman denied Hodel's rendition of events, saying that no attempt was made to pressure the White House, and that Iacocca decided to mention Hodel at the news conference only after Hodel announced the firing.
Tune in during the July 4 festivities in New York, where Hodel is scheduled to introduce Iacocca as the fund-raising wizard who persuaded corporate America to cough up for the statue, and where Iacocca will in turn introduce Reagan.
Captain Video . . .
In observance of the Senate's live cable television debut today, Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) is holding a reception in honor of his predecessor in the leadership job.
The quasi-formal invitation (the stationary is embossed, but the invitation is typed; it invites guests to RSVP to "Margi") reads: "On the first day of live television coverage / of the United States Senate / Majority Leader Bob Dole / cordially invites you to a reception / in honor of -- "
Whom? Former senator Howard Baker? Former majority leader Howard Baker? Howard Baker, Esq.?
No. The reception is in honor of "Howard Baker / a pioneer of TV in the Senate."
Anchors Aweigh . . .
The U.S. Coast Guard gained its 18th commandant Friday with the swearing-in of Adm. Paul A. Yost Jr, a 35-year Coast Guard veteran who succeeds the retiring Adm. James S. Gracey.
Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole presided over the change-of-command ceremonies at the Navy Yard here, with the Coast Guard's tall sailing ship Eagle standing by for background color.