A Portrait of Exile : Caddell--A Man Out of Season

Times Staff Writer

In the end, they all wash ashore here. Battered by notoriety, savaged and scorned, they arrive with half-finished movie scripts and manifestoes, seeking a second act for themselves in the California sunshine.

Now comes Patrick Caddell, arguably the most influential strategist in modern Democratic politics, a man who would make kings--if only he could find the right prince.

Caddell has slipped in from Washington, D.C., where his status once was such that he could describe for a Playboy interviewer the pleasure of sipping cocktails on the White House balcony as he and President Carter conducted the day's "important" business. He was all of 29 years old then, and reported that the balcony view was "really something."

On the Loose in L.A.

Eight years have passed and the one-time wonder boy of the Democratic Party no longer has access to the White House balcony, or even to the dream of it. For the first time in five presidential campaigns, Caddell is without a candidate, on the loose in Los Angeles. One day he hangs out at Warren Beatty's house, learning the film trade; the next he drives the coast in Margot Kidder's purple Lincoln, a sightseer. He travels to La Jolla for a week and lectures college students, amusing both them and himself with acerbic observations about American politics. He plots out a book and a movie. He awaits a movement.

Caddell in California is a portrait of exile, a portrait made complete by his persistent brooding about the enemy which drove him to these distant shores. The enemy is Washington, which, in Caddell's shorthand, describes the fraternal circle of campaign operatives, elected officials and influential journalists who constitute the nation's political establishment.

Transcontinental Conflict

This Washington has grown weary of Caddell, and he of it. They are engaged in a peculiar, transcontinental conflict. Caddell depicts the struggle invitingly, as one man pitted against a political system gone sour. His adversaries paint it on a lesser canvas, as one man--Caddell--against himself, and his own worst instincts.

Caddell's contemporaries--many of whom advanced their careers through association with him-- now line up to dismiss the 37-year-old bachelor as ill-tempered, arrogant, ultimately irrelevant. They celebrate his departure from Washington as obnoxiousness's reward, a classic case of just desserts . . . .

Or, as the Washington Post put it, "the quintessential Washington tale of a young man who wanted to change the world, but rose too far too fast . . . . "

Or, as the New York Times put it, the comeuppance of an intellectual bully "known to make malevolent comments about individual consultants and reporters."

Or, as GQ magazine put it, Caddell's last chapter: "No one thinks of him as player anymore," the magazine quoted one of the legion of Washington insiders pleased to lampoon Caddell anonymously. "He's a joke, a sad, sad joke."

Caddell receives these dark reviews on his life poolside at Beatty's. It lessens the sting, perhaps, but he cannot seem to let the criticism go. He always returns the fire.

No, he tells reporters, he was not run out of Washington; he retired. Politics, he says, is "a cesspool which the consultants designed, and the press gets to be the pump." He will "take a blowtorch and burn right through" his adversaries. He will go to California, to Los Angeles--"the real world," he calls it--and he will "lead the revolution."

It could all be dismissed as petty, even pathetic, this strange fifth campaign of Patrick Caddell, were it not such a vivid statement on present-day American politics. That the fall from grace of a single political consultant could provoke so much notice and bother says much about how the process has been twisted--somehow, somewhere, the stagehands have usurped the actors' place in the footlights.

That the consultant is Caddell, the prototypical hired gun, says even more. He was in the laboratory when much of modern politics was invented. The rise of consultants; the movement of political struggle out of power brokers' back rooms and, via television, directly into voters' living rooms; the explosion of polls as a strategic tool--these in good measure are Caddell's work.

Plays at Music of Politics

Often mislabeled a pollster, Caddell's talents are grounded less in the mathematics of politics than in their music. It is said that he can pull from survey results messages and strategic advantages that no one else seems to see, or hear. Caddell brings extraordinary passion to the studied, mercenary coolness of professional politics. Candidates see this as a great strength. Those who must work with him see it as a great hardship. He is a trying bundle of ego and insecurity, of charm and rage.

"I know," Caddell once wrote a friend, "that many people regard me as a Cassandra; as too emotional, too apocalyptic, too excitable, even unstable. However, I have unfortunately found myself more often right than wrong. Frankly, at heart, I am a great optimist, a hopeless romantic, a believer that great dreams can be realized, that events can be bent by individuals."

Caddell has tended toward candidacies that beat against the current of conventional wisdom, and the Washington establishment. George S. McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Joseph R. Biden Jr.--all bought his advice in presidential campaigns. He worked in close to 100 successful Senate and House races. Along the way, he made a load of money, selling his talents to numerous corporations. His clients included Coca Cola, to which he provided advice on how to market the so-called New Coke. He sprouted a Svengali's beard, acquired a gold Mercedes, dated movie actresses. And then he came West.

"I have a track record," Caddell was saying one afternoon in November.

"I didn't wash up here because I had to."

He was seated in a Beverly Center restaurant, eating a Tex-Mex lunch. He wore a tan sport coat, blue jeans, a denim shirt and dingy white jogging shoes, all of which appeared overworked. Caddell is a heavyset man, with the bearing of a dark Irish poet--the sort who shuffles when he walks, who carries paperbacks and notes to himself in coat pockets. A white streak falling dramatically down one side of his thick beard is his signature feature.

On this day, the paperback in Caddell's pocket was Thomas Wolfe's "The Web and the Rock." Dozens of little yellow markers were wedged between the well-turned pages. Each signaled a particularly venomous description of a city. Wolfe happened to be writing about New York, but the prose suited Caddell's purposes.

He flipped quickly through the pages, reading aloud passages in which Wolfe described a city of men "stuffed with straw," and a "great rat's alley where the dead men were," and "inhuman manswarm ciphers, snarling their way to ungrieved deaths with the harsh expletives of sterile words, repeated endlessly," and a government which moved men "like puppets in a ghastly comedy, mocking their impotence with vast allusions of sterile power."

Caddell put the book away, lovingly.

"I thought Tom had been to Washington," he said. "When I first read this stuff I thought, 'He's been there!' "

It was one day before Thanksgiving. On a throne just outside the restaurant, a skinny Santa Claus was soliciting children's Christmas wishes--another character out of season. At that moment, a half dozen Democratic candidates were rattling about Iowa, each in search of the way to the White House, and Caddell was not there to guide them. He was in a shopping mall, quoting Wolfe, and, now, attempting to diagram his personal exodus--and the state of the nation's body politic--on a paper napkin.

He scribbled two dots on the napkin. The dot on the right represented Washington, national politics, the city of straw men. The dot on the left was California, the real world, the future.

Caddell has come to California with a premise: There are two realities in the land, the reality of the political establishment--Washington, Dot A--and the reality of all the rest, Dot B. In Washington, to admit that the nation faces grave problems is to concede defeat and invite expulsion. But in Dot B on the Caddell napkin, there lurks a great, untapped majority, prepared to be led through an era of hard choices--a nation ready to serve.

"It seems to me," Caddell said, "what is over the horizon is regeneration, renaissance, revitalization, restoration--a renewed society."

Caddell also has come to California with the beginnings of an agenda. Though Washington refers to him in the past tense, speaking in the condescending tones customarily reserved for troubled souls dispatched to desert clinics, his intellectual vital signs appear strong and steady. He has acquired allies. He intends to write a book exploring his premise. He intends to make a movie, "a very political film." These he calls "the intellectual pieces," and he makes it clear that they would only be the beginning.

"I know something will happen," he said. "And I know enough about myself to know that, if I can get myself or my ideas out there, things will begin to happen. For some reason, things happen around me . . . . I know how to make things happen."

Caddell is convinced there exists outside Washington a pool of talented, idealistic and often well-to-do people who, in less cynical times, would be drawn to public service. He has come to California to volunteer as catalyst, to bring these people together.

He grows fidgety, though, as he speaks to this vision. It is too vague. The details are incomplete. "I have no plan, per se," he repeats again and again. "There is no road map, yet." He frets about lost credibility, about being made to appear foolish.

"I know the weakness of the beast," he said ominously that day in the Beverly Center, darkening the dot which represented Washington on his diagram, "and I know its strengths. I know its vulnerabilities, and I know its powers."

The thing to do in Washington the last few months was tell Patrick Caddell stories. Everyone had one. Most of the Caddell stories chronicled social misdemeanors at best and were told as parable--the moral being that boorish behavior can eclipse even the brightest genius.

Campaign consultant Ray Strother, for instance, told of a late night telephone call in which Caddell screamed and cursed and vowed revenge for some unspoken affront. Strother said he slowly awakened and realized Caddell had the wrong number. "Pat," he said, "it's me, Ray Strother." Caddell apologized and hung up.

The most quotable observations about Caddell were repeated over and over again. "I've been his friend and I've been his enemy," Washington consultant Robert Squier told at least three different reporters, "and it takes less energy to be his enemy." He rarely varied a word. When a fourth reporter jumbled the remark during an interview, Squier patiently recited it again. "I know that is what I said," he explained, "because I tried it out on a friend of Pat's once, and she laughed for five minutes."

Caddell insists most of the things said about him are apocryphal. He tries to shoot the stories down, one by one, but it's hopeless. Overwhelmed, he adopts a catchall explanation from an old newspaper movie: "When the myth becomes bigger than the man, print the myth."

The son of a career Coast Guardsman, Caddell grew up mainly in the South. As a high school student in Florida, he successfully predicted results of political races as part of a mathematics project and earned his first headline: "Meet Mr. Predictions."

As a 21-year-old Harvard senior, he joined the McGovern campaign as pollster. McGovern today credits Caddell with one of the key strategic decisions of his 1972 candidacy: to challenge Hubert H. Humphrey in Ohio, even though it was supposedly a Humphrey stronghold.

Caddell's novel position was that the same sense of alienation pushing people to support conservative George C. Wallace, a candidate not entered in the primary, also would propel them to McGovern, a populist, anti-war candidate. He was proven correct. McGovern finished a close second and was on his way to the nomination. Caddell was on his way, too, and starting at the top.

He enlisted with Carter back when the Georgia governor was being dismissed as Jimmy Who? Carter now identifies Caddell as one of a trio of political advisers who helped him gain the White House.

Caddell's role in the Administration was that of an outside voice. He was never part of the White House staff, but he had easy access to the President. It soon became noticed how easy. Columnist Richard Reeves called him "the most influential private citizen in the United States." Magazines from Playboy to People profiled him. It was a heady time for a young man who described himself as "pathologically shy."

Changes occurred. No longer did Caddell want to be called Pat. He was Patrick. He grew his beard, built a reputation as a Georgetown party animal. He endured, in sum, all the awkward experimentations of youth that most people tackle in venues less watched than the White House. Professionally, too, he came of age. No longer did he see himself as a mere pollster. He was a strategist.

"I don't know when he turned from a numbers guy to a Svengali," said Frank Mankiewicz, who worked with Caddell on the McGovern campaign. "I don't know if the beard made the Svengali, or the other way around."

Caddell's preferred vehicle of communication is the memorandum--long-winded, passionately argued, filled with underlines and capital letters and, most often, bleak. A series of Caddell surveys and memos led to Carter's infamous "crisis of confidence" speech delivered during the height of the 1979 energy crisis. Though the word was never used, the Oval Office address became known dispargingly as Carter's "malaise speech." The President was depicted as blaming the American people for his defects, and even today the speech frequently is cited as Caddell's great blunder.

Caddell's view differs. He says Carter's popularity soared after the speech, only to descend when he started firing Cabinet members in a clumsy follow-through to his call for a restoration of American faith. A decade later, after he had landed in California, Caddell would look back on the speech as the fork on the road from eccentric prodigy to expendable troublemaker.

By this time, Caddell had begun to know doubt himself, to wonder if it had all come too easy, if perhaps he wasn't worthy of his station. "That's a period," he said, "when I really should have gone and gotten some help in the sense of really working this out--I was so afraid of the stigma of doing so."

He recalls beginning each day of Carter's failed reelection campaign with primal screams in the shower. Despite the disastrous result, Caddell felt he was at the top of his game during the Carter campaign, developing, for example, a more accurate polling technique.

By 1983, he was on to a new theory. The baby boomers were coming of age and it would take a generational leader of the kind the country had not seen since John F. Kennedy to corral them into the Democratic Party. He called it "a generation whose political allegiance is yet unformed and up for grabs."

One lesson Caddell had taken from the Carter Administration was that electoral victory in itself was not enough. "The legions of political experts and consultants, like myself, are the hired guns who sensitize the candidates to every nuance and wisp of public reaction, and who shape the images and illusions to entrance the masses," he wrote in a 144-page memo entitled the State of American Politics, a document produced as a form of catharsis and circulated among friends.

"We have mastered the short cuts to triggering recessed emotions and forcing attention to issues often insignificant . . . . This process is terrific for winning elections. Unfortunately, it is generally disastrous to governing. To succeed in governing demands that the election require that the people 'buy in,' not on every specific, but on the broad designs, priorities, intentions and sacrifices that will be required."

Invents a Candidate

Caddell surveyed the Democratic field, then dominated by Walter F. Mondale and John Glenn, and did not see a candidate who could pull off his electoral adventure. He then did an extraordinary thing. He invented a candidate.

He conducted polls pitting a fictional Senator Smith against two opponents. Smith was described as a young, generational candidate, giving voice to vision, calling the nation to service. Descriptions of the opponent candidates, also fictional, matched those of Mondale and Glenn. Smith won.

Next Caddell sought to convince at least three senators--among them his longtime friend Sen. Biden of Delaware--to adopt his campaign. All declined. In January, 1984, he was summoned by Gary Hart. Though independently voicing many of the generational themes Caddell had proposed, Hart appeared to be going nowhere fast. Withdrawal from the Iowa contest was under consideration.

Caddell convinced Hart to stay in Iowa, arguing that a strong finish there would provide crucial free publicity and momentum for New Hampshire. He helped the candidate sharpen his message. He even worked on body language. Hart came from deep within the pack to finish second in Iowa. He beat Mondale outright in New Hampshire. It was a great upset victory for Hart, and vindication for Caddell.

The breakthrough left Caddell "almost in tears. I thought, 'God, I was right.' I was so relieved not to be crazy. Ever since that moment, I have resolved never to back off of something that I really believed in again."

Mondale eventually beat back the charge, and Hart and Caddell did not end the campaign on good terms. There was a dispute over money and trouble over a television spot aired just before the Illinois primary. Hart was upset with the commercial's negative tone and, at great political cost, ordered it pulled. Caddell denies it, but he was suspected of sneaking the spot past the candidate.

Caddell's reputation for dominating campaigns like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla by then had become a Washington staple. Prospective clients sought to extract promises of good behavior from him in advance. In the 1984 general election, the senior officials of the Mondale campaign debated for weeks whether Caddell was worth the trouble. They decided he was.

"If we had spent as many hours working on the voters in August as we did debating whether to bring Caddell into our campaign," said Robert Beckel, the campaign chairman, "we probably would have been a lot better off."

Caddell concedes some character flaws. He cops to charges of insensitivity to colleagues, to stepping on toes in campaigns. But, he wonders, can't they see it is only because he cares so much, because he wants so badly to win? "I can't help it," he says. "I have never been able to lose my passion."

Finds Inspiration

By the end of 1986, Caddell declared himself fed up with politics. He was tired, he said, of manipulating voters--and of his role as Democratic whipping boy. Caddell announced his retirement at a Halloween press conference, saying he would return only if Biden ran for President in 1988.

"I knew I needed to get away," he said.

And so he went to California. It was supposed to be temporary. He achieves rhapsody now as he discusses his experiences teaching a semester at UC Santa Barbara, and the sense of relief and possibility California inspired in him.

"I wanted to come to California," Caddell says, "because I thought if the future will happen, it will happen here first. I mean, this is a very fresh place. And I found that people are more open to ideas here. I mean, people don't carry the same prejudices. I mean, people don't look at me here and say, 'Ah, you're the . . . brilliant but temperamental . . . Patrick Caddell.' "

Reputation, though, can be a tenacious hunter, and when the Gary Hart scandal broke last spring, rumors spread that Caddell somehow was mixed up in it. The possibility of a set-up began to slip into print. The Washington Post quoted a Hart associate as saying he had been told "several times" that Caddell "would do anything to ruin Gary Hart."

Caddell denied and denied, and when his denials didn't seem to stick, he hired a lawyer to deny for him. The rumor took a toll. Caddell recalls arriving at a Los Angeles party attended by several Hart supporters. "I walked in the room and I mean the temperature must have dropped 30 degrees. I wanted to scream, 'Why are you all thinking that? It's just not that way.' "

In the summer, with what he describes as great ambivalence, he returned to Washington and the Biden campaign. Much of Caddell's career, it seems, has been spent in a search for a true leader. His memos echo with references to Americans yearning, yearning, for someone to transport them from the political wilderness, and the repetition creates the impression that the quest must also be his own.

Perhaps Biden was the one. They had been close friends for years, partners in a dream. Biden would be the candidate, the cool presence, the leader; Caddell would be the loyal strategist, the passionate thinker, the fire. In the aftermath of Hart's New Hampshire triumph, Caddell privately had expressed fears to Biden that perhaps he had given "the keys of the kingdom" to a false Messiah.

The wheels fell off the campaign by mid-September. Biden surrendered to revelations--initially maneuvered into the public domain by rival campaigners--that he had co-opted speech material from British politician Neil Kinnock and Robert F. Kennedy, and had misrepresented his academic record.

In the aftermath, a theory circulated among Washington insiders that the plagiarism accusations had been motivated more by a desire to get Caddell than to get his candidate. Newsweek's Periscope column, for instance, reported that "the glee with which many capital insiders (including reporters) anticipated (Caddell's) demise probably spurred the press's scrutiny of Biden."

Whatever, Caddell soon was under attack like never before. Even the funny papers joined the hunt. In the comic strip Bloom County, Caddell joined a line-up of Boy George, Tammy Bakker, Prince Charles and the infertile panda bear Ling-Ling as characters who could "use a little shoring up."

"Washington is a wonderful town to gang up on somebody when they're down," said Beckel, a rare Caddell defender. "And Caddell was down, and when he was down a lot of people kicked him."

It was suggested that Caddell had tried to fill Biden like an empty vessel, making a man who wore a suit and tie in college don the posture of a tie-dyed child of the 1960s. Caddell says there were two Bidens, "the pure Biden and the political Biden." The pure Biden was a legitimate generational candidate, with the right instincts on the right issues. The political Biden was concerned with fitting into the Washington establishment.

Stories were told about the final days of the campaign: How Caddell had ranted at the reporter who broke the plagiarism story; how Caddell at a pay telephone had pleaded with Biden's family on the night of the withdrawal decision to be put through to the candidate.

Caddell says his attack on the reporter was tactical, an attempt to uncover which campaign was spreading the dirt on Biden. He says also that he got through to Biden that night and gave him this advice: attack, take his case to the people, fight. In Caddell's mind, the kingdom was at stake.

He grows angry now as he tells his version of the final days, suggesting acidly that Biden's other aides were more concerned about preserving Georgetown status than protecting the candidate. He says they sought only to execute "the perfect hari-kari," a nice, clean exit from the scene.

"They were," he says, "feeding him all of this stuff about, 'It will make you look good,' all this bull---- that serves their interest and not his." Meetings were held and Caddell was not invited.

Finally, Caddell simply got out of town. He went to Ireland for a vacation. When he returned, it was to someplace other than Washington.

Another scene of exilic languor: A bearded man in blue jeans sits on a seawall. Below him surf surges gently over the rocks of La Jolla Cove. Beyond, the Pacific spreads out in the soft light of late afternoon. The man leans back, resting on one arm, and begins to speak, fervently, steadily, into a reporter's tape recorder.

The bearded orator, of course, is Caddell. His topic defies the setting. As beachcombers pass in twos and threes, oblivious to this solitary press conference, Caddell picks his way through the Carter years, describing battles waged a decade ago and 3,000 miles away, hoping to discover in the narrative rational explanations for what he considers an irrational attack upon his character.

"If you were from outer space," he says, "the computer would be saying, 'This does not compute, this does not compute.' It has to go beyond my personality. It has to be something bigger than that."

He lingers now at Carter's crisis of confidence speech. He has read the speech again and is convinced it did not attack the American people. It attacked Washington:

Washington D.C. has become an island, (one key passage goes). The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide.

Here, Caddell says, was a fulcrum. "It was at that subtle turn when this thing snaps," he says. "All of the sudden it isn't, you know, 'Caddell's volatile but we love him.' It's, 'he's nuts!' It became the grounds by which to attack. . . .

"When you start saying, 'this isn't working,' when you challenge the authority, when you challenge the standards of accepted belief, you run not only the risk of being an outcast or . . . being attacked. You run the risk of generating a certain kind of personal intensity to the feelings. It's a threat."

He stops to jot a note to himself. Caddell must deliver a speech in the evening at UC San Diego, and he attaches great significance to it. Though the address is entitled "The Breaking of the Presidency," Caddell intends a broader theme. It will be his first opportunity to make a case for himself--and for a new political movement.

Making his case has become a preoccupation for Caddell in California. He travels heavy, with a nylon satchel stuffed with evidence. He pulls out stacks of memoranda, political articles, speech drafts, letters to friends, campaign blueprints, strategy papers, cassette tapes of new music heralding a new generation--road signs on what he pictures as an intellectual journey from Washington insider to California exile, the journey from Dot A to Dot B.

He summons character witnesses to testify on his behalf:

--Bonnie Reiss, a politically active entertainment lawyer. "I think Pat burns inside to make things better," she says in her Westwood office.

--Alfred A. Checchi, 39, who made a fortune in the Texas financial world before coming to California last year to involve himself, somehow, in politics. "Patrick," says Checchi, sitting in a wooden rocker in his Century City office, "has an intense desire to effect change and to create a society that he envisions is just and good, et cetera, et cetera."

--And, finally, his longtime friend, frequent host and movie trade mentor, Warren Beatty. "I've been encouraging him to get involved in the movies," Beatty says by telephone. "He has such an energetic intelligence that I think he could do well. And, I think it is a good time in his life to shake up the apples in the barrel a little bit."

Caddell says he has several ideas for movies, including a film about politics which he maintains "can be very powerful." A shadow of a plot--corrupt senators, phantoms at the Vietnam War Memorial, troubled Iowa farmers--has taken shape in his imagination, but Caddell keeps it mostly to himself.

First, there is a book to write. "It's not a memoir," Caddell says, groping for a description, "even though it's about a journey. It's an analysis in part, but not a political science book. It is a critique without being a polemic. And I want it to be prescriptive and optimistic without being too much a manifesto."

At UC San Diego that night, the lecture hall was filled. As he entered, Caddell talked grimly about "burning bridges." He began his speech by telling the audience a Washington columnist recently had described him as "the most dangerous man in America." He promised to live up to the billing.

He ran through it all. The mischaracterization of the malaise speech, Hart's New Hampshire "gusher" of 1984, Washington's club mentality, the possibilities for a new political movement.

He spoke of "the politics of posturers. It is not based on the effectiveness any longer. It all seems to be geared to images and the news . . . . "

"We have in Washington," Caddell said, "this inability to come to grips with where we are, which I would call a mediocracy. The notion is that we are all mediocre together and no one will suffer. The standard is not whether or not you are successful but, as somebody said, whether or not you will go to dinner."

He spoke of responsibility: "No one is responsible. The consultants say, 'We're not responsible. Our job is simply to elect them.' The lobbyists say, 'We are not responsible, our job is to represent our clients.' The press says, 'Our responsibility is to do whatever we wish.' (Laughter) The elected officials say their responsibility is to get reelected."

Accepts Some Culpability

Almost parenthetically, he accepted a portion of the consultants' culpability in the dark mess he described, and then quickly moved on.

He spoke of the "reality gap--the reality of the politicians and the realities of the people." He said Americans outside Washington must be made to believe that "they are right, and the other guys are wrong, that there are like-minded people everywhere, that people are not isolated.

He spoke, finally, of the need "to do, in fact, what we have always done in America--which is to have a political movement."

It was raining hard when Caddell returned to his La Jolla hotel. He sloshed to a sidewalk newspaper rack and bought the late edition. In the rain he flipped to an inside page and there he found it: "Caddell Rips Political System." A flash of satisfaction crossed his face. A blow had been struck.

Caddell tucked the newspaper under his arm and marched off to his room, to his tapes, to his books, to his thoughts, to his bunker.

Perhaps F. Scott Fitzgerald was right. Perhaps, as he wrote in the The Last Tycoon, "there are no second acts in American lives." Certainly, though, there are some interesting epilogues:

In the three months since Caddell moved to California Gary Hart has been resurrected. Reporters who last spring investigated whether Caddell orchestrated the Donna Rice affair have called recently to ask if he was the brains behind Hart's revived campaign. Though Caddell says he is not, he does enjoy the speculation.

He intends to begin house-hunting soon in Los Angeles. In the meantime, Caddell works out of a rented home in Santa Barbara. He says he will maintain a Washington office, "only as an outpost."

In early January, he finished a five-page book proposal, appended a 50-page essay and shipped it all back East. "To me," goes the first sentence, "the sky seems bluer in Santa Barbara."

A crew from West 57th Street was out the other day, asking Caddell about his "passion," filming his stroll down the beach.

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