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There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere

Twenty Years with Ronald Reagan A Memoir

John A. (Jack) Svahn

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  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.00" x 9.00"
  • ISBN: 978-1-936782-66-6
  • Publication Date: 2011-12-01
  • Langdon Street Press (a division of Hillcrest Publishing Group, Inc.)

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There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere

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February 6th, 2011 would have been the 100th birthday of a man who is remembered as a friend, as a father, as a movie actor — and as the leader of the free world for two terms during a time of major world change.

John A. Svahn’s There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere is a candid reflection from one of Ronald Reagan’s chief policy advisors, given the opportunity to observe many meaningful moments and events. Svahn served in four Reagan administrations and played a critical role in some of Ronald Reagan’s most controversial and successful domestic initiatives, including the overhaul of California’s welfare system and the shoring up of the nation’s social security program. Anecdotes of a more lighthearted nature are also recounted, including Dan Rather’s impromptu serenade for the president’s seventy-fourth birthday.

Throughout every challenge, including the ramifications of what the author terms his “biggest mistake,” Ronald Reagan stayed the course with his integrity, character, and wit intact. Svahn conveys his fondness for the complex and often eccentric nature of American politics, and pays homage to his friend and colleague as his number one “Reaganite” in this engaging and touching memoir.

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John A. (Jack) Svahn

John A. (Jack) Svahn served in the administrations of four Presidents. For over twenty years, he was closely identified with the fortieth President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. After helping Reagan reform California’s unwieldy and unfair welfare system, he moved to Washington DC to bring the same kind of reforms to the federal welfare system. When Reagan was elected President in 1980, he appointed Svahn to be the Commissioner of Social Security. At the time, Social Security was running out of money, just as it is today, and a fierce public battle raged for two years to get the Congress to enact reforms to the programs to regain fiscal stability. After a brief but hectic stint as Undersecretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Svahn was appointed by Reagan to be his chief domestic and economic policy advisor. Jack served over three years in that capacity. For the past twenty years he has been a public policy consultant. During that period he has served on a number of corporate and non-profit boards. During his career, Jack has been a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, Board of Health Care Services; a member of the Board of Visitors at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law; a member of the Board of Governors of the National Aquarium in Baltimore; a member of the board of the Foundation for the Future of Aging; a member of the International Social Security Association and of the Inter-American Social Security Association; and Chairman of the Commission for the Study of Alternatives for the Panama Canal. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Politics, Who’s Who in Government, and Who’s Who in the West. He and his wife Jill live in Reno, Nevada and Chester, Maryland.