From Rick Perlstein:
Morning in America | OurFuture.org: Longtime readers know my fascination with debunking of the absurd myth that Ronald Reagan ascended because of his "sunny optimism." I'm reading a forthcoming book about Patty Hearst, and I'd somehow missed this example. The Hearst family, responding to the demands of their daughter's kidnappers, began a program to distribute food to the poor. Reagan's response? "It's too bad we can't have an epidemic of botulism."