SAT Subject US History Practice Question 669: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 669

20. Ronald Reagan was called the "Teflon president" because he

A. was the Great Communicator.
B. told the truth without embellishment.
C. always had everything under control.
D. was never held responsible for the failures of his administration.
E. did not need special handling.

Correct Answer: D


Teflon is a nonstick substance used on frying pans. Some of Reagan's detractors called him the "Teflon president" because he was never held accountable for any of the failures of his administration. In other words, he was the Teflon president because nothing stuck to him. Reagan was known as The Great Communicator (A) because he connected with his audiences, but that is not a characteristic of Teflon. One of Reagan's most effective rhetorical devices was telling stories (B), which he often embellished, therefore blurring fact and fiction. He had an endearing grandfatherly demeanor, and his popularity remained very high during most of his administration, but he was not always in control (C). He depended heavily on the advice of others (E).

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