In 1987, Peter Robinson wrote the speech in which Ronal Reagan demanded that Gorbachev should tear down the Berlin Wall. It seems, however, that quite a few people didn't want him to make such a demand at all. According to Robinson, after he had written the speech: "The speech then went to staffing, and as close as we ever got to open warfare in the Reagan White House then broke out. For three weeks, the State Department and the National Security Council fought the speech."
Does anyone have any idea what exactly is meant by "staffing" in this context? I can't seem to make any sense of it.
Curious
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In 1987, Peter Robinson wrote the speech in which Ronal Reagan demanded that Gorbachev should tear down the Berlin Wall. ... any idea what exactly is meant by "staffing" in this context? I can't seem to make any sense of it.

The speech went to the White House staff for review. "Staff" in this sense, refers to the advisors and aides of the President. The Press Secretary, for example, is considered to be part of the White House staff. One of the President's advisors is the Chief of Staff.

The White House also has a staff of maintenance workers, cooks, gardeners, and other workers. While they are a staff of a particular sort, you don't hear them mentioned.
In 1987, Peter Robinson wrote the speech in which Ronal Reagan demandedthat Gorbachev should tear down the Berlin Wall. It ... any idea what exactly is meant by "staffing" in this context? I can't seem to make any sense of it.

Either:

1. Misstatement for Reagan's personal WhiteHouse staff. or

2. Current local usage in the White House in
1987 for (perhaps) Reagan's political advisers.

But it is a little misleading. In some British
companies the personnel (employment) unit
used to be called Staffing, i.e. finding new staff.
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
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Does anyone have any idea what exactly is meant by "staffing" in this context? I can't seem to make any sense of it.

It means having the document reviewed by all the interested parties, not necessarily limited to staff (as opposed to line) personnel. In the example cited, the State Depertment objected to the speech. The State Department is not part of the White House Staff.
The reason for "staffing" a speech, or any other document, is to make sure that everybody is in agreement, that objections are heard, that inaccuracies are corrected, and that one part of the organization is not saying one thing while another part of the organization is saying something contradictory. When, as in this instance, the document comes from the boss, it is also a way to communicate to the underlings what the current policy is.

John Varela
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The reason for "staffing" a speech, or any other document, is to make sure that everybody is in agreement, that ... one part of the organization is not saying one thing while another part of the organization is saying something contradictory.

And when it doesn't function as designed, you wind up with a president stating (falsely) in his State of the Union address that Iraq attempted to buy uranium from an Africal Country.
When, as in this instance, the document comes from the boss, it is also a way to communicate to the underlings what the current policy is.

Unless they can talk him out of it.

Bob Lieblich
Who has been "staff" (though not the president's) in his time
"The speech then went to staffing, and as close as we ever got to open warfare in the Reagan White ... any idea what exactly is meant by "staffing" in this context? I can't seem to make any sense of it.

It appears to mean "vetting (of the speech) by staff". Right or wrong, it certainly makes sense.

Michael West
Melbourne, Australia
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And when it doesn't function as designed, you wind up with a president stating (falsely) in his State of the Union address that Iraq attempted to buy uranium from an Africal Country.

Are you sure about that parenthesis? My recollection is that, in that address, he stated (truly) that British intelligence services were alleging that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from an African country.
"The reason for 'staffing' a speech, or any other document, is to make sure that . . . inaccuracies are corrected." On the uranium issue, Bush's staffing may have saved him from stating a falsehood.
And when it doesn't function as designed, you wind up ... that Iraq attempted to buy uranium from an Africal Country.

Are you sure about that parenthesis? My recollection is that, in that address, he stated (truly) that British intelligence services were alleging that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from an African country.

If I'm not mistaken, they still so allege.

John Varela
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I apologize for munging the address but the spam was too much.
Reagan is dead at 93. Too bad his legacy legacy won't die with him, though.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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