"Ronald Reagan started eating jelly beans when he gave up smoking in the early 1960's. On his first day as governor of California, candymaker Henry Rowland gave Reagan a big jar of jelly beans, which Reagan put on the Cabinet Room table. That was the beginning of a long tradition of passing out jelly beans during Cabinet meetings. "We can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing around the jar of jelly beans," he told Rowland.
Reagan also once said that, "You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful." Sometime later he remarked, "Some political figures have endured in history as lions or conquerors or something equally impressive. It's a little frightening to think California history might record us as jelly beans."