Ronald Reagan; referring to his ability to get into politically 'dirty' areas but emerge with his reputation and popularity unscathed and with no 'mud' sticking.
Patricia Schroeder, the American polititian and journalist, claims to have coined this expression:
"As a young congresswoman, I got the idea of calling President Reagan the 'Teflon president' while fixing eggs for my kids. He had a Teflon coat like the pan."
the well-known slippiness of Teflon is, of course, the allusion that is being made. The term has since been applied to Bill Clinton who shared Reagan's apparent slickness. The expression has gained currency and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair has often been called 'Teflon Tony'.