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can other brands say all that? for grain-free nutrition you can trust, does your food go beyond? learn more at beyondpetfood.com i think i was born to be married. >> really? >> i think i was born married. i was the happiest girl in the world when i became we. you know, i love that. i love everything about marriage. we've had a great life, a great life, and i was very blessed to find him. i really was. >> good evening. i'm chris matthews out in las vegas. i want to start with a few words
of my own about nancy reagan, whom i have been honored to call a friend for a long time. nancy, it's clear to all who paid any attention, protected her husband in life, has honored his legacy in every hour since. she kept the reagan torch lit and lit brightly. i came to know her as her husband suffered from alzheimer's and since my mother died of this terrible disease i felt a common bond. there was also the political connectio connection. of what they agreed on was the need to meet their duty when the time came to make things work, to meet the urgent challenge of protecting social security and to end the cold war peacefully. on every issue between these two guys was their shared sense of urgency, a missing element i think in today's politics. they believed you couldn't keep kicking the can down the road, and that led to historic reforms on taxes, immigration. led to them working together on matters that never saw the light of day.
such as ending the troubles in northern ireland. both of these irish-americans cared deeply about that. i'm also glad that in the wake of this history, i could get to know nancy reagan as a person, someone who loved the good life she shared with her husband and the old days of hollywood, engaged strongly in her career, and kept the torch lit all these years since her husband bravely accepted his fate i want to bring in everybody thomas author of "being nixon," jon meacham, author of "destiny and power" and "the american odyssey of george herbert walker bush" and michael beschloss. let's talk about nancy reagan. let's talk about her role in her husband's career. when it really was going downhill in the early '50s. movie offers weren't coming.
he was in bad shape, getting turned down for parts. he couldn't get cowboy movies and along comes nancy. he had been dumped by his first wife in a terrible divorce situation and here she came along and basically bucked him up and made him a winner again. >> yeah. she sure did. and, you know, i can imagine -- can you imagine the early days of their marriage she was there sitting in that nightclub in las vegas watching her adored husband who would have this great career, kings row right before world war ii, acting as an emcee in the nightclub and she was the one that basically got him on his feet, g.e. theater, death valley days. and after that when he wanted a political career, as you know, made a lot of the social relationships and political relationships around l.a. that made that possible. >> john mech han meacham, your about the early work she did for her husband. he wouldn't be where he got if it isn't been surviving a lot of problems in his life back in the late '40s when he was sort of
dumped. >> oh, it was 1948 was his worst year. as you say, he couldn't find work. as michael said, he had been on a rise before the second world war, and then as he once said, i met nancy davis, and she saved my soul. and they were never really apart after 1951, and i think in many ways ronald reagan was one of the last lions of the 20th century and nancy reagan helped give him the roar. and in the sweep of first ladies, arguably in terms of public policy and supporting her husband, she's the most important first lady since eleanor roosevelt in terms of making a presidency work. >> evan? >> you know, there's an interesting -- marriage is always interesting and particularly interesting with public leaders because sometimes the one spouse will bear the burden of the other, and this i
think is particularly interesting in the reagans' case. reagan was serene. he slept at night. i have read that nancy stayed awake so that ronald could sleep at night. nancy bore his worries, his anxieties, his burdens, and it kind of freed him to be serene. you see this in a lot of marriages when you think about it, but it's particularly pronounced in the reagans' case, and it's essential to i think reagan's kind of sunniness and his serenity that she was his protector, that she worried for him. >> let's talk about how she saved him again. i believe she did after iran contra. she went in there, got rid of don regan who thought of himself as president. he got confused about his role and brought back in howard baker and ken and allowed reagan to walk into the pages of history as a winner. >> she did. and part of what -- she was not
very ideological. a lot of conservatives were angry she brought in howard baker and consulted bob strauss, the famous democratic adviser here in washington, but she wanted to get her husband once again back on his feet, and not only to increase his public approval but also close out that presidency with a great achievement, which was to put the nation on the road to ending the cold war. >> and, jon meacham, she could be tough. i remember she fired don regan, the chief of staff to the president, i believe on television. >> well, yes. that's sort of like a tolstoy story unto itself. the firing of don regan. she wanted vice president bush to come in and do it. this didn't work. she wanted bob strauss to come in and finally she got her way. do don regan made the fundamental mistake of hanging up on mrs. reagan once -- >> not a wise move. >> it's like being the radar
operator at pearl harbor. it's not something you do by any means, but it was also -- but it was absolutely essential, but it also shows how, you know, difficult politics always is because she paid a price for that. because let's remember what don regan did in retribution. after he left the white house, he revealed that in the wake of the 1981 assassination attempt, mrs. reagan began consulting an astroll injury to seek guidance on the most favorable presidential scheduling for the rest of the administration. it was deeply embarrassing, and it just shows she was not just a ceremonial figure, not just a stylish figure. she was very much a political figure in what was a tumultuous political time. >> yeah. she once told me though, i think a lot of that about bringing joan quigley who is actually a very smart woman -- she's deceased but she was a smart astroll injury, it's not the
stars, it's their intuition and brains that keep the clients rolling in, but i think nancy not ever got over the assassination attempt. because she knew that was fate. you don't know how to control it and she was hoping she could somehow monitor her husband's way through a fateful world. >> she turned to quigley i believe after the assassination attempt. she limited his public appearanc appearances. she did remove him a little bit from the public in an effort to protect him. you can see why she was agonized and worried about it. you know, we have to remember she did fall on her sword for reagan. she took a lot of grief for him. you know, i was covering the white house along with others at that time, and she was painted as the bad guy. remember the china -- she was pretty clever about disarming it. my memory of this is she took a lot of grief for her fancy clothes, that she was living too high a life. early '80s, the country was in a recession, big unemployment, and
there she is beautifully dressed and, of course, we got on her, we in the press got on her for that. she went to the gridiron dinner and sang second hand clothes to the tune of second hand rose, brought down the house. it worked for a while. she had pretty negative press i would say during reagan's presidency while he had a good press. >> you know, michael beschloss, one of the weird things about the somewhat elitism, liberal elitism, prejudice if you will of the ivy league and other schools, she went to smith, and they were going to give her an honorary degree and they yanked it on her because they said she wanted to give it to barbara bush, a woman who worked outside the home. here is nancy who made her own career in hollywood, went out there alone as a single woman, got in a bunch of movies, really worked outside the home where barbara bush didn't. these kinds of decisions by
academia do not give you much faith in their honesty or judgment. >> no, they certainly do not then and sometimes now, and the other thing is that a lot of what she was criticized for, nancy reagan, was being too adoring of her husband and spending too much time trying to collaborate with her husband to make his presidency a success. she was hit for that in the 1980s. nowadays i hope that she'd be honored for that. >> yeah. >> interesting. >> i think women want options like we want options. >> that's what i'm saying. >> and you should be able to make she's decisions yourself and not have them prescribed by society. state right there. more on the legacy of nancy reagan. we lost her today. when we come back.
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we learned as too many other families have learned of the terrible pain and loneliness that must be endured as each day brings another reminder of this very long good-bye. >> well, there's former first lady nancy reagan speaking at the 1996 republican national convention about her husband's battle with alzheimer's. joining me is former secretary of state george schultz who served as secretary of state under ronald reagan. mr. secretary, it's an honor to have you on on this sad day, and i guess i'm just going to leave you to your recollections. >> well, i have, of course, lots of recollections, but i was lucky enough to be a pal with nancy reagan.
we had fun together. at a white house dinner, she always fixed me up with a hollywood starlet for my dinner partner. i got to dance with ginger rogers and so on. we had fun. but here is a story -- >> go ahead. >> -- about her. you remember when mikka came to visit the white house. i went to nancy and i said the deal is he comes to the west wing, we have a meeting in the oval office. we walk down to the mansion which is your home and then we have some sit around time and then there's a working lunch. so i said you're the hostess. how about your being there at the sit-around time and be the hostess. she's a great idea. we'll do it. so we come down there and he cea sees nancy and goes right over to her. and nancy so bristle, and he says to her, does your husband
want peace. and she said of course my husband wants peace. and he says, well, then every night before he goes to sleep whisper in his ear peace. he was a little taller than she was so she put her hands on his shoulder and pulled him down so he had to bend his knees and she said i'll whit psper it into yo ear, peace. >> wow. she was something. i was just thinking when you were secretary of state, you held the top cabinet position. did you have a sense that every time -- that she mattered in the thinking of the president? how would you describe that role of influence or companionship? >> well, they were very close. what they talked about in the privacy of their rooms nobody knows, but you could see that they communicated and paid attention to each other very closely. here is an example. at one point in early '83, you
remember that was a tense time with the soviets, i had a trip to china. i got back on a friday morning, and i was looking to land at andrews air force base because it was snowing. it snowed all day friday, and so friday night, snowed saturday morning, and the reagans were stuck in the white house. our phone rings and it's nancy. she says how about coming over for supper? so my wife and i go over for supper. and they start -- nancy was kind of in the lead but both of them, they start asking me about the chinese leaders, what kind of people are they? do they have a sense of humor? do they have a blooirch? c bottom line? can you find a bottom line? they started asking me the same thing about soviet leaders. i could see it sort of dawned on me this man, ronald reagan, had never had a real conversation with a big-time communist leader. and so i said i had weekly
meetings. i said he's coming over here 5:00 tuesday afternoon. why don't i bring him over here and you can talk to him, and he said, and she was shaking her head yes, he said that's a good idea. bring him over here. all i want to say is if this new leader is interested in a constructive conversation, i'm ready, and nancy was very affirmative. it was obvious they had talked it over. this is a very tense moment but he was saying let's do something different. so -- >> how well was she receptive to the fact that gorbachev came into power? did she have a good instinct about him? reagan clearly did. did she have one as well? he's a technocrat but a new kind of russian leader. >> well, i think he did, and he was reinforced in his view by margaret thatcher. margaret had met with him before
he was the general secretary, and she said this is a man we could do business with. >> yeah. >> and so reagan and margaret were very close and nancy. so her opinion made a difference. and then he wasn't there at the funeral, but i was, and i talked to him a lot about it, and he was gorbachev -- when we had our meeting, he never looked at him, and we talked about a wide variety of things, and he was very much up on everything, and afterwards i told our group because i had had met with a lot of soviet leaders before when i was secretary of the treasury, i said this is a different kind of leader than we ever had to interact with before. he's tough, he's quick. you can have a conversation with him. he listens to what you say and he answers and expects you to do
the same. and i told that story to nancy, and she was very affirmative. >> yeah. well, mr. secretary -- thank you. i have to end it now but thank you so much. my best to charlotte and thank you for what you have done for our country. >> thank you. >> more on the reaction to the passing of nancy reagan when we come back now. (avo) after 50 years of designing cars for crash survival, subaru has developed our most revolutionary feature yet. a car that can see trouble and stop itself to avoid it. when the insurance institute for highway safety tested front crash prevention
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how'd ya do? we won! nice! that's another safelite advantage. thank you so much! (team sing) ♪safelite repair, safelite replace.♪ wanted to say briefly and recognize the passing of nancy reagan today. she was one of the greatest first ladies, extraordinary human being, and such a wonderful partner to her husband, to president reagan, who was without any doubt one of
the greatest presidents in the history of the united states, and i know she would join him now in heaven and this love affair between the two of them would start all over again. so let's please have a moment of silence for nancy. >> former governor of california arnold schwarzenegger. every knows arnold sha warg neger, leading a moment of silence for former first lady nancy reagan who passed away today at the age of 94. joining us is hallie jackson. hallie, thanks for joining us. >> hey there, chris. you know, one of the things when you talk about the death of nancy reagan that you think about is the reaction of the presidential candidates here. ronald reagan, so much a part of their campaign speeches, so much a part of their discussions on the campaign trail, and so the death of nancy reagan has had
all of them reacting and responding today. i want you to listen to what john kasich had to say earlier this afternoon. >> i do want to say a word about nancy reagan because, listen, today my wife's going with me for a couple days on the trail. i am thrilled. my staff is thrilled because they say that she keeps me in line. i have a sense that it was a little bit that way with nancy reagan and her husband, and she looked out for him every step of the way. >> and as the news started coming in about nancy reagan, chris, you started seeing online the presidential candidates talking about this. ted cruz, for example, tweeting and then releasing a longer statement saying that she was first in the heart of ronnie and of americans across the nation, adding nancy reagan will be remembered for her deep passion for this nation and love for her husband. marco rubio as well talking about his memories of her from 2011 when he said he and his wife had an opportunity to meet
her at the reagan foundation out in california. he said she couldn't have been more gracious calling her a true example of integrity and grace. donald trump also reacting to this calling her an amazing woman and saying she will be missed. you're seeing the reaction cut across party lines too. bernie sanders pointing out it's not just about politics. it's about remembering somebody who was warm and gracious, two of the adjectives you hear again and again when it comes to describing nancy reagan. from the democrats you're also seeing sort of hat tips to her work on stem cell research, to her work with alzheimer's, just say no to drug campaign. so when it comes to remembering nancy reagan, you're seeing it not just here in washington from those who knew her and worked with her but those who are now hoping to carry on the reagan legacy into the white house on the republican side, chris. >> amazing. sometimes we don't realize these things, hallie, until someone dies and all of a sudden we realize what a role they played in our live. with me by phone is anita
mcbride, chief of staff to first lady laura bush. you have been in that position of the white house. you know the role of the fifers lady very well. >> sure. thank you, chris. i'm delighted to join you to honor mrs. reagan. >> well whashg do y, who was shr successors? >> well, i think, you know, just like as there is a club of former presidents, there really is a small club of these women who have served as a partner to the president, and only they, you know, truly understand what it's like to be in those shoes, to really be the person most invested in the president's success. it's just a very different role than any other adviser, any other confidant. so they truly understand what each other goes through in the white house. >> can you tell the influence or is it kept as a single line between husband and wife? can you tell when the first lady
has had some impact, has had her voice heard? >> i think there's no question that, you know, this is first person they talk to in the morning and the last person they talk to at night and, of course, they share thoughts. they share their ideas. they share opinions. i mean, mrs. reagan of course famously always said i have better antenna sometimes than ronnie does. so she was not shy about that. she cared about him. she cared about who was working for him and what impact they were having on his legacy. >> i think she -- >> i'm sorry. >> i had a thought but you probably have a better one. go ahead. >> no, i just think, of course, we know of examples where, of course, mrs. reagan's incompetent influence was important to the president. you heard that with secretary schultz even talking about the relationship with gorbachev. of course, that's one area.
you know, another, of course, was her influence which they were jointly cared very much about entertaining and using the white house stage as a diplomatic venue. and they were excellent partners at that. >> isn't it amazing how nancy reagan kept up? every time i talked to her, and we had dinner, lunch, once in a while, she was always quite keen on knowing exactly how the players were behaving in washington. you know, for better or worse. she loved scuttlebutt. she loved it. who doesn't, but she loved it. >> she was very interested in politics, of course. she left washington but washington never entirely left her. i mean, you know, politics was a big part of her life for many years of her marriage, and i think she did pride herself on knowing what was going on, and she appreciated too when she was first lady in the white house meeting with friends outside of the white house and people bringing information to her. that was really important, to
have your finger on the pulse of what was happening around you. it's extremely useful for the president as well. >> you'll like this, anita. i had dinner with her one time, one of those old hollywood places, beverly hills places where she and her husband, president reagan, used to go all the time. >> chasen's? >> exactly. sometimes it was the belaire country club. she had a lot of favorite haunts. my first deal to her was, mrs. reagan, ooirl tell you everything that's going on in d.c. if you will tell me everything going on in the old days. it was a great trade. she would tell me about hanging out with sinatra and dean martin. anita mcbride, thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me and for honoring mrs. reagan. >> okay. we have to all do that. we'll have more on the life and times of nancy reagan coming up next.
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say no to drugs and say yes to life. >> if you've got to die for something, this sure as hell ain't it. >> i have a story to tell about nancy reagan and her influence in the life of ronald reagan. back in 1981 when he was shot and almost killed he got to the hospital in three minutes. if he hadn't gotten there in three minutes, he would have never made it. of course, while he was in the
hospital convalescing in intensive care a big shot senator from the south, i wouldn't use his name, snuck in to see him. nancy said somebody has come in and disturbed ronnie. he had a bullet right here his heart. she decreed no one is to see ron reagan, her husband, for days. reagan was in pretty good shape and he recovered rather quickly. three or four days later jim baker and nancy decided they'd have a ritual opening to reagan. they decided the first person to see him would be the leader of the opposition. it was tip o'neill, my boss, got to go in and see him. and tip went in to see him and was kind of overbhwhelmed by wh a bad condition reagan was in, but the only other person in the room saw these two guys down on their knees together. reagan was in the gurney and tip was on his knees next to him holding hands and they were reciting the 23rd psalm together. you know, things were better back then and nancy reagan was
the one that made sure things kept on that level of dignity and civility and i think it had a lot to do with the legacy of her husband on matters like that that seemed to be so important today because we don't have those manners anymore. for more on the former first lady, let's go to kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> reporter: as you were telling that story, i'm reminded of the photo i just stopped to pay attention to inside the white house briefing room. it's there all the time. i have seen it for years. but i stopped for a moment because it is a photo that shows president reagan, mrs. reagan, and james brady, and, of course, he was gravely wounded on the same day president reagan was injured by gunshot in that assassination attempt, and when they renamed the briefing room that we use as reporters day in, day out for the questions and answers with the press secretary over several administrations, they renamed it the brady briefing room in honor of james
brady, the press secretary in the reagan administration. it is a reminder today that this place where we're reporting from, typically about the obamas and the obama administration, was a generation ago the home to the reagans for those eight years that they were here, and there are sort of aspekcts of their life that are still present. the official portrait of mrs. reagan is in one of the public spaces of the white house. when special visitors come they have an opportunity to see that. i almost wonder if the white house will perhaps do something in honor of her at the site of that portrait inside the white house. today we've been hearing so many reflections from public officials who had opportunities to meet mrs. reagan or admire her over the years as well as, of course, the president and first lady. the president is back here at the white house after some time on the golf course today. he and mrs. obama put out a lengthy statement acknowledging their connection to nancy
reagan, in particular about that understanding of how difficult it can be to live in a white house as i'm standing with you here right now. there's a protester using a megaphone just outside of the gate, and he's been going at it for quite a while, as they do on every day on a variety of topics. but if you're a resident in that building, you actually can hear that from the inside, and so the life of the white house is something that connects first families regardless of politics, separate from politics. just the experience of living here. so there will be i'm sure many commemorations of nancy reagan here at the white house. chris? >> how would you like to wake up to that racket? what a country. you can dwrel at tyell at the p and he actually hears you. with me is kate anderson brower, author of "the residence." you are an expert on what goes on in the mansion, in the executive mansion, the white house. >> yeah. i thought it was really
interesting how the residence staff spoke about nancy reagan. one usher told me he would wander up at the end of the day and he would find president reagan and nancy reagan sitting there watching, who's the boss with the tv cranked up and having their dinner on trays and holding hands and moments like that you would never -- nobody would ever see that. it wasn't public. and the president would talk about how when he was sitting in the oval office he would scootch down in his chair so that he could see into the window in the west sitting hall to see the first lady there sitting and looking at him. so their relationship was very close. it was not something put on at all, and i think something else that anita become bride mentioned is the sisterhood of first ladies and it's interesting that someone like hillary clinton felt that it was unfair that nancy reagan was criticized for spending close to $200,000 on a new set of white house china, and, you know, hillary clinton said we needed new china. this is the china we use for state dinners is the reagan china and jackie kennedy had a
lot of respect for nancy reagan bringing glamour back to the white house, inviting ella fitzgerald and frank sinatra to perform. it really crosses party lines, the sense these women really have a sense of camaraderie and respect for one another regardless whether they're republican or democrat. >> isn't it amazing that the president of the united states watches regular television? not "downton abbey," although he would definitely watch this, but watching 8:00 to 11:00 commercial television. they would sit down with tv dinners and actually sit and watch what most americans do every night. they come home, have a beer, light a cigarette or just have the tv dinner and tip o'neill was like that. i once had dinner with tip and larry grossman, head of nbc news and all they talked about was the lineup and "the golden girls," and all this stuff. it's amazing how people at the top lead the most middle-class lives culturally. >> the humanity of these people.
and like you said, another interesting thing about nancy reagan and ronald reagan's relationship was this deep love they had for each other and during the assassination attempt when the president was in the hospital, nancy reagan actually came back to the white house and went to the game room on the third floor of the residence to go get his favorite photo and bring it to him in the white house, back in the hospital rather, and she fell off of the ladder that she climbed because she didn't want to ask anyone for help and she broke a couple ribs. and she did all of this -- it was never told in the press, but, you know, her love for him was so intense she never complained about her own pain. she wanted to make his hospital room nicer and more comfortable for him. so she brought his favorite photo to him in the hospital and broke a couple ribs in the process and never told anyone. so i'm really impressed by the relationship and how true it is. it wasn't an act. a lot of political couples seem like it might be an act and this was not. >> someday i'm going to find out your secret for getting people
to talk. everybody talks to you. you are really good. thank you so much, kate anderson brower who writes about inside the white house well. joining me is stuart spencer, former ronald reagan campaign manager and a friend of the reagan family. stuart, it's an honor to have you on. my god. >> good to talk to you again, chris. >> the stuart spencer. the. tell us about ronald reagan and nancy reagan as they went for governorship of california and blew everybody away with that big win and then, of course, going into the presidential races in '76 and '80. >> well, 51 years this may when i first met them. they wanted to run for governor, and they came to my partner and i, bill rockeberts, and we spen the first three months in the living room because they were really green and really naive and we talked politics 101 for
months. nancy was a great listener, she absorbed, she analyzed, and she asked good questions and she really never changed from that over the years. >> who had the idea to have him go up and down the coast north and south of california in sort of a try out run before announcing? i don't think it's been done since. let the voters decide whether they like you and then come back and say, i guess they like me, i guess i'm going to run. >> number one, we didn't know what kind of candidate he was going to be. we knew one thing, he was articulate and had a belief system, but what we sold them on was the idea of doing a trial run, so to speak, a trial campaign and never announce until january, and so we basically ran a campaign for six months before he announced in january he was going to run for governor. and naturally everything has worked out really well.
funny incidents happened to us. we'd be in a town and reagan being out of show business would say what are we doing here? nobody lives here. people are in santa monica. well, you explain to him that, well, this is like show business. you always got to take the show out of town before you bring it to broadway. that he understood. >> speaking of out of town, they've had to make some brute ideal decisions, getting rit of don regan. she called up cnn and told them this guy is gone. he wrote a letter of resignation and drove out of the white house in his own car. that was the end of him. i was thinking back in the '80 race when he lost the iowa caucuses to george bush, sr. and john was out the night of the new hampshire primary. these decisions are tough to make and she was part of them, right? >> she was a part of all those kind of decisions. he was the guy with the belief system that wanted to implement something in the world.
she was the personnel director that brought the people around her, around him that would implement the successful victory. >> it was brilliant. >> it was the way she operated, and she only had one criteria, and it was a good one, and that is are they going to work off ronnie's belief system or are they going to work off their own belief system. >> well, that's a tribute to jim baker who became the best chief of staff we ever had because he understood the word was staff, not chief. he understood he was working for a guy and nancy liked him, and they could do the work together. what a great relationship that was thanks i think to nancy. >> that's right. because i remember my discussion with her about jimmy baker during the campaign, the closing days, when his name came up. that was the one question she asked me, would he work from our agenda or his own agenda. i said he'll work for your agenda, don't worry. >> that was a great midseason
trade. i'll tell you. you picked him up on waivers anyway. thank you, thank you so much, stuart spencer, for joining us. you're a great man. aur great man. >> thank you. up next, a final thought on the passing of the former first lady. at mfs investment management, we believe in the power of active management. by debating our research tfind the best investments. by looking at global and local insights to benefit from different points of view. and by consistently breaking apart ri to focus on long-term value. we actively manage with expertise and conviction. so you can invest with more certainty. mfs. that's the power of active management. helps preparey themng right
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i go to his aide. he comes to mine. well there, is nancy reagan reflecting on her relationship with her husband, president ronald reagan. joe fryer is outside the reagan library in simi reagan librar e california. i want to bring in a historian and former editor-at-large of news week and presidential his torial. evan, you start tonight. nancy reagan once said to me that alzheimer's was worse than the shooting because she lost her company. she lost the company of ronald reag reagan. what do you think about the fact that he just said good-bye to the public? >> so graceful. he wrote that wonderful letter in his own hand, still strong hand saying that he was beginning this long journey into darkness really which is alzheimer's is. how terrible that was for nancn.
she described lying in bed with him holding his hand and he gradually drifted away. took ten years. announced in '94 and he didn't die for another decade. but she said she never wanted to be more than five minutes away from him. and alzheimer's is a rough road. she always food by him. so characteristic of her. >> and i remember the scene, john, there is a scene where he was in a park just relaxing, secret service was around him and he couldn't understand why everybody was paying attention to him. >> yeah, there is another scene that was reported i think in the "new york times" where he's watching old videos of people in the past and he wonders who that man at the top of the steps of air force one is. george schultz came and called
and left and president reagan turned to nancy and said you know, he was a very important man once, that man who just came in. so there is a quintessential sense of tragedy about the way president reagan went. but she was always there. >> well, i guess there is something very democratic about alzheimer's. it strikes with the same classic pattern, michael. and to see a president who had all his wits about him and had to give way as evan said, that beautiful letter that was so well written. >> testimoalmost poetry and in e says roughly that the hardest thing is going to be to imagine as he was imagining the toll that this will take on nancy, which of course turned out to be the case. and he lived on for ten years and you've seen mrs. reagan in recent years. i saw her a little bit.
i don't think she ever recovered from this, the last 12 yearses of her life were very sad. and to some extent, the ob verse of having that close a marriages she never really recovered. i remember a couple years ago, i asked her do you get to travel at all and she says i really don't want to travel. i realaeeally want to just stay in he wibellaire in los angeler. >> she was welcomed all the time by doug wick son of charlie wick and they were very close and the whole family became part of her family, as well. and of course the late merv griffin was a pal. very good pals. tina s tina sinatra. even in her late-years, she kept up the click. >> elizabeth taylor was her neighbor. >> she did have a great style for -- like a lold of older
people, they're great to have dinner with because they have had a lot of time during the day and at the end of the day, they're ready to go. and i think she managed to live a full life until the very end i think. >> i think that's true. >> 94 is not a bad time. >> and i think as you were saying, she was up on the latest developments in american politics in washington. >> there were some people that were not on her hit parade.
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