Vignettes from Nancy Reagan's life

LOS ANGELES -- Those who worked with former US President Ronald Reagan say Nancy Reagan was intelligent and loyal to her husband.

See Full Article

As first lady, Mrs. Reagan was a trusted adviser and held backstage power in the Reagan administration, which began in 1981.

After the presidency, she was a caregiver during Reagan's battle with Alzheimer's and a protector of his legacy after his death.

Mrs. Reagan died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 94.

Here's a look at the personal side of Mrs. Reagan:

------

FIERCE INTELLIGENCE

Martin Anderson, domestic policy adviser in Reagan's 1980 campaign and his first term in the White House, wrote in his book, "Revolution":

"Nancy Reagan was an important and active participant in virtually all the important discussions that took place during the campaign. She was highly intelligent, with a sixth sense for asking insightful, penetrating questions. Above all, her judgments on public policy issues, political strategy, and personnel were superb ... Reagan recognized a good mind when he encountered one, and he consulted her constantly on just about everything. On the other hand, he would never hesitate to overrule her counsel, although he seldom did so because she was usually right."

------

PRESIDENTIAL AIDE

Political scientist Richard Neustadt in his book "Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents:"

"The aide in charge of warning him (Reagan) when threats appeared against his public standing or historical appeal ... that special staff role, of immense importance to someone habitually incurious about detail, had been assigned his wife. More precisely, she had made it hers since Sacramento."

"But when it came to people, her reported targets seem well chosen, aim unerring and timing right for someone who must wait for someone else to pull the trigger."

------

ASKING QUESTIONS

James Kuhn, Reagan's second-term executive assistant, credited Nancy Reagan with much of her husband's success but said she was hard to please and "could ask questions that there were no answers to."

For example, she would demand details of the weather in whatever place the Reagans were going, Kuhn said in an interview made as part of a University of Virginia oral history project on the Reagan years.

"And she'd say: 'Rain. Why is it raining? Why is it raining in Cleveland?"' Kuhn related.

"I'd say, 'Well, I guess there's a low pressure system that came in.'

"'Well, why?'

"I'd think, 'Oh, God, I'm getting in deeper here."'

------

UNFORGETTABLE MEETING

Nancy Reagan recounted one of the lighter moments of White House life at a 1994 George Washington University gathering on the role of first ladies.

It happened, she said, at a meeting "with this lady who we were trying to convince to do something for the White House."

"I had on a blouse and a wraparound skirt. And she got up to leave, and I got up to shake hands with her. ... The skirt is down at my ankles and I'm standing there in my pantyhose and my blouse," she recalled to gales of laughter.

"I don't know whether we ever got the money from the lady, but I said to her, 'I'm sure this is a meeting you're never going to forget."'

------

COPING WITH ALZHEIMER'S

By 1999, Nancy Reagan had been trying to cope with her husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis for five years, and she was asked in a C-Span interview what she had learned.

"That it is probably the worst disease you can ever have," she replied. "Because you lose contact and you're not able to share. In our case, to share all of those wonderful memories that we have."

Asked what she did when her husband didn't recognize visitors, she replied: "Well, now we don't have visitors ... we never let that happen."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Sports and energy drinks unhealthy for kids and teens, Canadian pediatricians say

    Canada News CBC News
    Most children and teens shouldn't consume sports and energy drinks, and the products should no longer be marketed to them, the Canadian Paediatric Society says. In a new position statement released Tuesday, the society said sports drinks are high in sugar, which contributes to the obesity epidemic as well as dental cavities. Source
  • Trump associate denies Russia collusion ahead of House visit

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone says there is "not one shred of evidence" that he was involved with Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone is defending himself in a lengthy statement released ahead of a closed-door appearance before the House intelligence committee Tuesday. Source
  • Witness in murder trial run over in front of Vegas courthouse

    World News Toronto Sun
    LAS VEGAS β€” The sister of a murder victim was hit by a car Monday on a sidewalk outside the Las Vegas courthouse where the man charged in the killing is standing trial and she is on a list of potential witnesses, authorities said. Source
  • Police union blasts handling of Utah nurse arrest probe

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY - Two officers under investigation in the rough arrest of a nurse have been unfairly made into pariahs after body-camera footage got widespread attention online, a Utah police union said Monday. The Salt Lake Police Association said in a letter to the mayor and police chief that it is "extremely concerned and dismayed" about handling that has "corrupted" the high-profile investigation, The Deseret News reported. Source
  • Smoke fills plane's cabin after landing at California airport

    World News Toronto Sun
    FRESNO, Calif. β€” Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at a California airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said. Source
  • Man pleads guilty to sucker-punching disabled person

    World News Toronto Sun
    WEST CHESTER, Pa. β€” A man who was caught on video sucker-punching a man with cerebral palsy outside a Pennsylvania store has pleaded guilty to simple assault. Twenty-nine-year-old Barry Robert Baker Jr. of Georgetown, Delaware, entered his plea Monday. Source
  • Canadian describes harrowing tale of Dominica destruction in Hurricane Maria aftermath

    World News CTV News
    It’s been a week since Hurricane Maria pummelled Dominica, and Patrick Mullins still vividly remembers his experience on the ground as the powerful storm tore through the Caribbean island. The 67 -year-old Ontario resident was in Dominica working on a project with local youth when Maria made landfall. Source
  • Paralympian sues University of Regina over accident that left her a quadriplegic

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- A Paralympian who was left paralyzed after a diving accident says she knew the injury was bad the moment it happened. Miranda Biletski testified Monday in Court of Queen's Bench in Regina, where she is suing the University of Regina for negligence. Source
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko rejects call for anti-corruption court

    World News CBC News
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says judicial reform aimed at rooting out corruption in his country will be introduced in two weeks, but the leader rejects calls for the creation of an independent anti-corruption court. "I am absolutely confident that it is vital for us to create anti-corruption system in the whole court institution of Ukraine," Poroshenko said in an exclusive interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton. Source
  • 'Save our liberty!' Protesters in wheelchairs disrupt hearing on Obamacare replacement bill

    World News CBC News
    Protesters in wheelchairs interrupted Monday's U.S. Senate hearing on the Republican health-care bill aimed at repealing and replacing "Obamacare." "No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!" they shouted at the Senate finance committee meeting. The noisy protests forced committee chairman Orrin Hatch to recess the hearing just moments after it began. Source