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tv   Karen Tumulty The Triumph of Nancy Reagan  CSPAN  August 2, 2022 7:11am-8:05am EDT

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you again soon. >> now available on the c-span shop, c-span 2022 congressional directorate, order a copy of the congressional directorate, the spiral-bound book is your guide to the federal government with contact information for every member of congress including bios and committee assignments and contact information for state governors and the biden administration cabinet. order your copy today, or scan with your smart phone, every c-span shop purchase help support c-span's nonprofit operations. >> live sunday on "in depth," columnist and talkshow host larry elder will be our guest to talk about political correctness, the left and racial politics in the united states. is the author of several books including ten things you can't say in america, what's race got to do with it, and a lot like me, a memoir about his
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turbulent relationship with his father, join in the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. "in depth" with larry elder live sunday at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> the center for public affairs virtual event we bring you a conversation with washington post national politics columnist karen tumulty who is joining us with her brand-new book "the triumph of nancy reagan". in addition to working at the washington post she works time magazine, the los angeles times, and is recipient of many awards including excellence in political reporting. ask four years ago by simon & schuster to write this biography the book was finally being published tomorrow on april 13th, 2020, one. kirkus reviews because the trance of nancy reagan a luminescent exhaustive biography which chronicles the private life and local
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influence of nancy reagan. the book draws on interviews with reagan cabinet members, friends, and family members, and how she became one of the most influential first ladies of the century. we invite you to enjoy our virtual program with karen tumulty joined by kathy bush. >> good afternoon. i am so pleased to welcome you today for this very special sneak peek at a much anticipated biography on warmer first lady nancy reagan. the book, "the triumph of nancy reagan," written by veteran washington post columnist karen tumulty will be officially released tomorrow and karen has graciously agreed to make the reagan library one of her first stops on the book tour. after devouring the book myself i think readers will agree it is a well researched, balanced, and insightful look into the life of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating and
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consequential figures. in the interest of full disclosure i thought i would mention i was privileged to work for the reagans as a young woman. first in the white house and then in los angeles after the reagans left washington. there, i was part of their small staff and their vibrant post-presidential life. ultimately serving as their spokesperson and press secretary. it was an incredible adventure and one of the great gifts of my life. the journey over those 6 years opened my eyes to the world, to the importance of decency, kindness, character, and leadership. i also saw the private side of the reagans during unguarded moments when i witnessed firsthand their boundless devotion to one another. i was not one of karen's sources for the book so i read it with tremendous interest just like all of you will. i thought i knew just about all there was to know about nancy reagan and karen's book proved me wrong. karen spoke to hundreds of individuals over the course of
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four years drawing on archives, letters, nancy's own memoirs, president reagan's diary, white house records and much more. welcome to the ronald reagan presidential library and this series that has become so popular especially during this year of difficult separation. i really wish we could have been together at the presidential library overlooking the majestic mountains of seamy valley or perched in front of that colorful section of the berlin wall. that section symbolizes freedom over communism that resident reagan envisioned and as we learn in your book that nancy reagan had a diplomatic hand in too. instead we are relying on technology today to take us back in time and bring us together to better understand nancy davis reagan, daughter, actress, partner, mother, first lady and caregiver.
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before we launch into the meat of the book and tackle so many topics can you share a bit about what inspired you to take this on? how did you go about it and why did you start the book with the soviet union? >> guest: thank you so much for having me and i too look forward to when we could be sitting out there on that beautiful patio at the reagan library where i spent so many wonderful hours mostly defrosting from the frigidity of the research room at the library. i started, it was actually this book was not my idea, it was simon & schuster, my publishers, it was my editor, priscilla payton, one of my dearest friends with my editor at time magazine and so she came to me in late summer early fall of 2016 a few months after mrs.
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reagan died and said we would love to have a big biography of her and there was just something about this idea. i remember the day of her funeral i was driving around doing errands and listening to what on c-span radio while i was driving and thinking there are so many layers to this very complex woman. and there was something about the project that really struck me as interesting and especially since i came to washington in the 1980s and my knowledge of nancy reagan was pretty much everybody else's, tended to run between one of two caricatures, either she was this vapid socialite or the scheming power behind the throne but listening to the trivia to her at the funeral and watching the last decade of
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the president's life and her life beyond that you begin to get a sense of the real depth of this relationship and i originally thought this is going to be a book about our woman into marriage and a love story but as i got deeper and deeper into the research i realized it was so much more. it was really a whole new perspective on reagan's presidency, on his political rise and ultimately a new perspective on an entire era of our history. why did i come in with the story george shultz told me about the soviet union? i was looking for something that would signal to the reader that this was not your typical
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first lady biography. the story george shultz told me about nancy reagan, supposedly impromptu to the white house in the middle of a blizzard to have dinner just the four of them, two couples up there in the white house sounded like a social invitation, george shultz was pretty new in his tenure, had only been secretary of state for 7 months so he didn't really know the reagan's all that well and he had just gotten back from a long trip overseas and included a stop in china. as the dinner progresses the reagans, both of them, start peppering him with questions about the chinese leaders, do they have a bottom line, do they have a sense of humor, what makes them tick and beyond that they start talking about the soviet union and shultz, away from the usual hardliners
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and typical national security council meetings begins to realize something about ronald reagan which is that this man has never had a conversation with a big-time communist leader, that he is dying to have one and he thought about this a lot, is very confident in his own abilities as a negotiator but shultz realizes something else, this dinner invitation was not a social invitation and nancy reagan had wanted to get him alone with the president so that he could begin to understand something about her husband, something that had the potential to change history and also realizes something else in that moment which is that he, george shultz has found an incredibly valuable ally in this first lady who is the only person in the world to whom ronald reagan
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is truly truly close, and who understands her husband like nobody else does and it seemed to me sort of a perfect opening into a book about her role, her very unique role as first lady, she was somebody who didn't set foot in the west wing all that often but everybody's there new when she was displeased about something and people who weren't in her favor didn't tend to last very long in the reagan white house because she essentially saw herself as bear to watch her husband's back, that he was someone who really didn't have much of an appetite for sort of interpersonal conflict or battles and really she had i think a sharper sense
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of people, as james baker, who was chief of staff and treasury secretary told me, she had incredible radar, hers was better than her husband's. >> there is so much here, i would love to sort of start at the beginning, you took an incredibly deep dive into nancy davis's childhood, the instability of her home life her larger than life mother edith who was largely absent during critical years, her father who had no role in her life and stepfather, doctor boyle davis who gave her the stability and love she craved. tell us about the young nancy davis. >> she was born, she was the product of a bad match between a very ambitious actress and a car salesman who would very
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shortly after her birth go their separate ways and her mother very shortly after that leaves the little baby named him francis robbins in the care of relatives and for the next six years of her life, she yearns for this absent mother and as her son ron told me, as other people pointed out to me, it sort of cast a shadow on her spirit, a sort of insecurity that never really leaves her, it's one of the reasons she was so complex. she believed no matter how successful they were there was always a trapdoor in a life, at any minute the bottom could fall out, certainly that is underscored two months after they get to the white house where she almost loses her
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husband to an assassin's bullet, she wasn't somebody who really shared a lot about herself, she -- her own children didn't know much about her childhood or the insecurity, the instability, the lingering effects, the scar tissue, it really left her with. she also would bristle somebody suggested that her mother abandoned her but if you don't mind i found one speech that she gave in 1986, the famous orphanage near omaha founded by father flanagan. they were honoring her that day for her drug advocacy, but she says to these 400 children who come from foster care, broken homes, she says something remarkable in this speech and it was a moment of
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vulnerability and openness and candor that really struck me is what she said is the reason i'm here today is not because of the reward but because of you. there was a time when i didn't quite know where i belong to either. what i wished for more than anything else in the world was normal family. do you know what happens when you hurt inside? usually start closing your heart to people because that is how you got hurt in the first place, you opened your heart. another thing, she stopped trusting people because somewhere along the way they didn't live up to your trust and there is another thing that happens when you have been hurt, you start to think you are not worth much, you think to yourself how can i be worth anything of someone would treat me in this terrible way so i understand why you feel beaten down by it all. when you look at that and the
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instability of ronald reagan's childhood, as the son of an alcoholic who took the family from one uncertain situation to another you really realize what is the basis for this incredible love story, this incredible bond between the reagans and that is that in each other they finally found the security, the validation and love the two of them had craved and so while this also explains kind of the insecurities of nancy reagan, the complexity of rent nancy reagan it also explains her fearlessness, how she was absolutely fearless when she detected anything that could possibly jeopardize the happiness and wholeness she and ronald reagan finally realized in each other.
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>> that leads into my next question which is we all read and heard so much about how the reagans met in the evolution of their love story and as you revealed in the book ronald reagan was not in a great place in his life or his career when they met. your book suggested he was broken inside and his heart was in a deep freeze but she was loving and patient and as ronnie would later write nancy moved into my heart and replaced an emptiness that i had been trying to ignore for a long time. share a little bit about those early years of their courtship and the path of their marriage and the beautiful, eloquent love letters he sent to her over their lifetime and all of which she saved, tell us more. >> guest: in the following 1949 they have a supposedly blind
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date. i have found evidence that nancy davis, young actress newly arrived on the mgm lot had been trying to make their paths crossed long before that but certainly when she opens the door of her apartment that night there is simply no way that either she or ronald reagan could have begun to imagine the future that lay ahead for the two of them. he was an actor whose career was really starting to scrape bottom. his first wife, to his shock and dismay had essentially gotten bored with him and walked out, her star was on the rise and he really in some ways was still carrying the torch for jane wyman. he did have the scars of his own childhood and he was quite
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literally a broken man as he stood there on two crutches, and nancy davis's doorstep. 's fire bone had been broken and a half dozen places in a charity baseball game and he had spent the last couple months in traction and was later - if nancy davis hadn't come along when she did i would have lost my soul, but he's not somebody who is ready to settle down or even to open his heart and i think because of her incredible radar she senses she's going to have to wait this guy out and at one point his mother nelly even tells her that, she says to nancy who she likes a lot better than she ever liked jane wyman i can see that you are in love with him but he is not in love with you yet. you are going to have to wait and you will know when he loves
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you but you are going to have to wait and she does patiently, gently, take several years for him to come around and commit himself. >> host: i found the early years fascinating as well, you referenced fewer movie roles, arrival children, bustling home life, ronald reagan begins traveling the country on behalf of general electric, speaking to audiences all over america, honing his speaking style, listening to issues that matter to working americans, it all led to the realization that ronald reagan connected, very real intimate way with people and it all took off, campaigns, sacramento, more campaigns, the white house, tell us about those formative years that prepared the reagan's for their
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life as public figures and nancy's role in all of it. >> they are scraping bottom, professionally, financially, reagan, the most humiliating professional endeavor of his life, he becomes the mc of a floor show in las vegas but shortly after that this new opportunity to go into television as the host of general electric theater comes along, this is something that a few years before, ronald reagan would not have considered. he writes in one of his books why would anybody pay to see somebody in a theater if they could see them at home for free on television but it is a sign how desperate they are that -- the show takes off and also part of the deal is he travels the country speaking to tens of
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thousands of general electric employees doing promotional things for the company and that is where he discovered his own gift as a politician, the people he is meeting in the late 1950s are the same people who would later become reagan democrats but this puts an incredible stress on his wife who is home with two small children, is dealing with two step children from the earlier marriage and it is sort of in the course of that the views letters, these incredibly passionate letters become so important that if you don't mind, so of these -- these letters are hot. >> host: please do. >> this is one that he writes her in 1963. by this point they have been married for over a decade and
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he writes her do you know that when you sleep, you curl your fists up under your chin and many mornings when it is barely don i live facing you and looking at you until finally i have to touch you ever so lightly, you won't wake up but touch you i must or i will burst, probably this letter will reach you only a few hours before i arrive myself but not really because right now as i try to say what is in my heart i think my thoughts must be reaching for you without waiting for paper, ink, stamps and such. if i ache it is because we are apart and yet that can't be because you are inside and a part of me so we weren't part at all yet i ache because i wouldn't you without the ache because that would mean without being without you and that i can't be because i love you. there are just dozens and dozens and dozens of these
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incredibly passionate letters. there are telegrams, and she is saving every one of them in a shopping bag in her closet. ronald reagan in many ways, as eloquent as he was as a speaker on paper i found is even more so. >> enough of these beautiful letters to be compiled into a book, wasn't there? >> guest: that is right and it is lovely to go through them because some of them are funny and he's doing these kind of rye references to characters in hollywood, absolutely wonderful but they do speak to the devotion of the reagans to each other and constantly also they speak to the stress going on at
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home because he keeps promising her that as hard as these long separations are on them that this won't last forever and he writes i wish we could go to the farm, the ranch and put barbed wire behind the whole thing and neither of us would ever leave without the other. >> even though the reagan's had been in public life for many years nothing prepared them for washington life. in the media scrutiny that followed. you spend a lot of time in the book on nancy reagan's relationship with the press, the ups and downs of her approval ratings and frustrations about being misunderstood. as you alluded to, the portrait of a shallow socialite drawn by her critics early in her husband's presidency would be replaced by one of the calculating power behind the throne imposing her will on matters of state both foreign and domestic, you concluded that one point that america
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never quite figured out what to make of her, she really was in kind of a public relations tug-of-war, wasn't she? >> yes, and i find that the conundrum to me is how this woman who was so incredibly shrewd and incredibly sensitive about protecting her husband's image and almost always debt on the mark about his image become so clueless about her own. she brings a lot of her problems on herself, not a great idea in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression for her to be going out and spending a lot of donated money but nonetheless redecorating the white house or spending it on thousand dollar place setting china on the very, which they announced on the very day the reagan administration announces they are going to start classifying
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ketchup as a vegetable for school lunch menus which they withdrew. so you see again, it takes her a while to understand number one how she is bringing all of this upon herself but also number 2, this is a problem she better fix because at some point she's going to become she will become a threat to her husband's success but it is also very important and i try many times as i could to stepper against the context of her time. she is a proudly traditional wife, that was the public image, if you see how shrewd she is understanding her own power, she was not as traditional as you might think. this is set against the backdrop in sacramento, the
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turbulence of the 1960s, the 1970s, this burgeoning feminist movement and nancy reagan comes to represent for a lot of these women everything they are rebelling against and i was struck by how in some cases some of the harshest stuff that was written about her was by other women, younger women who again this was she was the mid century housewife they were trying to shake. it is interesting because the iran contra chapter is in many ways the heart of the book. nancy reagan runs the rescue effort out of the white house as her husband's presidency is potentially going to be overturned by this scandal.
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she engineers a shakeup of the white house staff that begins with the firing of the chief of staff, don reagan, and she also convinces her husband, her very stubborn husband that he is going to have to admit to the country and admit to himself that he traded arms for hostages and as she does this, you see this is where the shift is, all of a sudden she is getting applauded by a lot of her feminist critics and suddenly the guys, the conservative guys who are like wait a minute, this is in the nancy reagan we thought we were signing up for, this is edith wilson, running the country. neither of those things were true but she was first and foremost she saw herself as the protector of her foot husband's
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physical well-being but very close to that was keeping a night on the people around him and she had a very sharp sense of who was serving the president and who was in it for himself, actually helping the president and who was promoting agendas perhaps that ronald reagan might not have shared. >> host: one of the defining moments occurred on march 30, 1981, when a deranged gunman nearly took the life of president reagan at a washington hotel. it is hard to believe it has been 40 years since that day. that crisis changed everything especially for nancy, nothing can ever happen to my ronnie, she wrote, my life would be over. while the world w a the time how close he came to death, ronald reagan was spared and he believed there was
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suddenly a higher purpose to his life, going forward he would be dedicated to that. nancy, on the other hand, was haunted by the horror of all of it, plagued with fear that something like that could happen again. tell us about that moment, how she learned the news and how she had to carry that horror with her "after words". >> guest: i tried to take the reader minute by minute by minute, what that day was like for her. the head of her secret service detail, and agent, here's over the command center, under the oval office that there has been a shooting. at that point they are told rawhide, the president's code name is fine, he hasn't been hit, but he knows that nancy reagan has got to get this news from him, doesn't want to hurt
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to hear it any other way so he sprints up to the residence, doesn't wait for the elevator and he gets there and as soon as he says there has been a shooting she starts heading for the elevator and she says i've got to get to him and he says he is at the hospital and if he's not hurt, why is he at the hospital and he is going i don't know, maybe he's trying to check on the wounded or something but please just stay here, we don't know what is going on out there and he will be home soon and he is fine. she doesn't listen to him. she says i will walk to that hospital if i have to. at that point they bring a car, and by the time she gets there, michael beaver, outside, informs her that in fact the president has been shot and she goes in and sees her husband
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lying naked under a sheet with a bunch of doctors around him, she's the daughter of a neurosurgeon, she immediately knows how serious this is, her husband, normally ready chiefs are just ashen, tries to pull his mask off and says honey, i forgot to duck, he's trying to calm her down, she immediately understands what happened and it does sort of, for the rest of her life, actually, she is never sure whenever he steps outside the white house or steps outside a home that there isn't some other treachery waiting for him and i think it is really important to understand that, and what that left her with because she didn't have the same grounding in religious faith that the
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president did so when you come to whether it is the most sensational and controversial chapter of her times when it is revealed she had been relying on an astrologer, a woman she barely met in person to help determine the president's schedule it doesn't make sense of it but you really can understand that this is a woman who is desperate, grasping onto anything she can find and have some feeling, a very good friend and secret service from there on out because there's always in every white house a lot of tension between the secret service and political people because the political people always want the president to be out there touching people, making people connect with their president and the secret service if they had their way would put him in
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saran wrap and never let anybody near him, but i was told the secret service agents i spoke to said whenever we were concerned about something, all we had to do was go to mrs. reagan and it would get fixed our way. >> host: nancy reagan had a cause to embrace, for her it was the anti-drug because. she knew she had a platform as first lady in this issue over time became central to her life. she knew the phrase just say no wasn't the solution to the drug problem, it was easy for people to remember and it caught on, the issue is complicated and she was filled with doubt that she could tackle such a thorny issue, tell us what you learned about the effort, the receptiveness of the country to her message and how she in the end reflected by saying those years provided me with the most
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fulfilling years of my life? >> host: the slogan just saying no is a double-edged sword, it was memorable, it was catchy but on the other hand it sounded simplistic. people would even mock it. but if you just look at the hundreds and hundreds of appearances she made and got the message out every way she could, going on television, you cannot doubt her own devotion to this cause which i think goes back to the 60s, when she was in california seeing what drugs had done to the families of a lot of her friends. i think people are going to argue for a long time as to just how effective that really was but i looked at evidence
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and there is a project called monitoring the future which is the longest, best long-term tracking of young people's attitudes towards drugs and you really do see a change, in the late 1970s most young people, and she was aiming this really at young kids, most of them were thinking drugs, not a big deal. if you follow the data it really changes in the 80s and starts to shift back a little more once nancy reagan is off the scene. there is evidence that it was effective, joe califano who was hhs secretary under jimmy carter who runs the project at columbia university that looked drug use, i interviewed him and
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he agrees with me as well, he put nancy reagan on his board but she also would do things that caused no small heartburn within her husband's administration, one of the things she does near the end of his presidency and george schultz told me about this, she gives a speech at the united nations where at that point the reagan administration trying to crack down on people overseas supplying drugs to this country and nancy reagan gets there against the wishes of many in the bureaucracy of her own husband's administration, that's part of it. if we are cracking down on the cocoa field in south america we are also going to have to be looking at the investment banker who goes out on his
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lunch hour and scores a little cocaine. the demand side in our country also has to be dealt with and shoots told me that afterwords a lot of people from other countries came up and thanked her for really delivering a message some people even in her own husband's administration didn't want to hear, but part of the blame is the demand and also not just the law enforcement issues that we need to change social attitudes toward drug use. >> host: i would like to go back to the cold war for one more minute. of all the things nancy want to see her husband achieve as president, ending the cold war stood above all the others >> reporter: you right, improving us/soviet relations became nancy's special cause,
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ronald reagan despised everything about communism and was poised to do business with a new kind of leader in gorbachev. you have spoken about the role of george schultz but could you touch a little bit on how both men, ronald reagan and mikhail gorbachev were the right men for the moment and how nancy reagan really worked behind the scenes to pave the way for peace? >> guest: i don't think it was any geostrategic sense on her part. there were a number of things, one is that she wanted her husband to go down in history is a great president, as a peacemaker, she really believed that this was his role and also made some political sense that even people who liked ronald reagan were afraid he was a little too close on the trigger which she also understood
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something that many people didn't about ronald reagan which is along with his harsh, cold war, anti-communist rhetoric that there was real idealism to ronald reagan, he was a believer in the biblical prophecy of armageddon my he really was enough of an idealist to imagine a world without nuclear weapons and that was something she understood about him that not a lot of people did at that time and again, this is truly a marriage and the two of them would have these arguments where she would want him to tone down his rhetoric and she was especially disturbed when he referred to the soviet union as an evil empire, and i have a
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pretty hilarious scene of the 2 of them arguing about it over dinner one night but she does understand that with gorbachev, he potentially has a partner who could work with him on this and she is absolutely relentless in pushing for this to happen and over by the way the reservations of a lot of of the hawkish hard-liners in her husband's own administration, caspar weinberger said in one of the oral histories, she really was a lot more willing to trust the soviets than a lot of us were because she had a lot of faith and her husband's ability as a negotiator. >> after president reagan wrote his letter to the american people revealing his diagnosis
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with alzheimer's, you talk about nancy embarking on the final chapter of their love story and you write even her harshest critics would acknowledge the grace and determination she would show when her devotion was put to its greatest test. and seeing nancy's strength the nation regained a new appreciation of her character, never again would anyone doubt the adoring gaze she fixed on her ronnie for all those years but was anything but genuine. she would become one of the most admired women in the country. i think a lot of us watched the way she cared for him as the ultimate expression of their marriage house and their devotion and i remember how fiercely protective she was of him in those final years. share a little more about that chapter and how difficult it was for her.
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>> it is the cruelest disease you can imagine. the reagans, both of them had assumed -- closing in on 80 but really vigorous, fit, the only president, living president to complete two terms in office and leave office with high approval ratings. it does look like their golden years are going to be warm and wonderful and reminiscing on all the things they've done together and then shortly "after words" he becomes incapacitated or begins to become incapacitated. at first she is in a little bit of denial, she doesn't realize he is going down a long road that she's not going to be able to follow him on but ultimately she comes to accept it and it becomes, his physical caretaker, the caretaker of his
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dignity, she becomes very concerned because she has had breast cancer, she becomes very concerned about finances because she is afraid he is going to outlive her and she wants to make absolutely sure the resources are there for him to be taken care of and maintained in the way it must be, but what is also interesting and this is why this library becomes so important to her, she also becomes the caretaker of his legacy. other presidents survive decades after they are out of office, they have a chance to begin to write for themselves what histories going to think of them, ronald reagan is denied that so it is debited becomes nancy reagan's job to
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make sure that what history sees of him is true to him, is true to his values, true to his vision, so the library becomes extremely important to her in doing that, she wants to make sure it has the resources it needs, she also finds other ways to make sure that history remembers ronald reagan in a way that is true to ronald reagan, she is suspicious of all the reagan want to bes who want to co-opt him and use his name and use his image for their own agendas and she does something to that i found fascinating which is while on the one hand among conservatives ronald reagan becomes this icon, not only in
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ways that make her comfortable, she resists when they want to knock fdr off the dime and put ronald reagan on it but she also knows that there is still this perception of him among liberal scholars, liberal historians, opponents, that he was just an actor, he was reading lines that other people wrote for him and she decides the very best true, truest record is to put out there his thoughts, his values, his beliefs, in his own handwriting so you see her decide to publish his diaries, something very few presidents have ever done, keeping real-time diaries so that people can see in his own hand what he was thinking
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at all the crucial junctures, she publishes his letters. at one point, all the speeches he was writing as he was getting ready to run for president, and you can see in ronald reagan's own hand that these were his thoughts and his values, and were very true to him and again, i think that this library is not just -- she didn't want it to be a monument in the past but also to point the way to the future which is why you see it has become a site for so many important events where george w. bush comes to lay out his vision on foreign policy. i can't even count how many republican presidential debates have been held at the library.
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the kinds of programs, the frustrating, this epidemic going on, it is so, it is a living institution. >> host: thank you for saying that. patty and ron spoke eloquently at nancy's funeral in 2016. i hope you will indulge me for a moment if i read some of their words that were so poignant and then i will invite you to add to that. >> my parents were two have the circle closed tight around the world in which their love for each other was the only substance they needed. they might venture out and include others in their orbit, no one truly crossed the boundary into the space they held. >> ron spoke and followed with this. >> if my mother had one great talent it was that she knew how to love.
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and she loved one man. they watched the sun drop over the hills and the west toward the sea, as night falls they would look across the valley. my father would tell her the lights below are her dreams, stars will endlessly turn overhead and here they will stay. .. always wished it to be. resting in each other's arms, only each other's arms till the end of time in the final words you would love to live with us today about nancy davis reagan, her legacy, her love for her husband and her fascinating life, please do. >> well, only i would really encourage people to read the book and comeo to it the way i came to it when i was researching it and when i was writing it, which is to sort of
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set aside what you think you know about and francis robbins, later nancy davis, and later nancy reagan. hers is a complicated and often very painful story, but i think that ronald reagan chose well in his partner for life, and i do think that the country owes him a debt for that. >> what do you say about someone who gives your life meaning? what do you say about someone who who is always there with support and understanding? someone who makes sacrifices so that your life will be easier successful. but what you say is that you love that person and treasure her. [applause]
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>> i simply can't imagine the last eight years without nancy. the presidency wouldn't have been the joysi it's been for me without her there beside me, and that second floor living quarters in the white house what it seemed a big and lonely spot without are waiting for me everyday at the end of the day. she once said that a president has all kinds of advisors and experts who look after his interest when it comes to foreign policy or the economy, or whatever. but no one looks after his needs as a human being. well, nancy has done that for me through recuperation and crises. every president should be so lucky. i think -- [applause]
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i thinkk it's all too common in marriages that no mattern how much partners love each other, they don't thank each other enough, and i suppose i don't think nancy enough for all that she does for me. so, nancy, in front of all your friends here today let me say thank you for all you do. thank you for your love, and thank you for just being you. [applause] >> the book is "the triumph of nancy reagan," out tomorrow, on sale everywhere. from author karen tumulty and simon & schuster. thank you so much, karen, for joining us today. >> here's a look at what's coming up on the c-span networks. live at 10 p.m. eastern on
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c-span, the senate banking committee talks about the impact the housing market is having on renters and communities around the country. then live at 2:30 p.m. i hearing on the future of wireless communications and the fcc auction of the radio frequencies that wireless signals use. on c-span2 a look at the economic injury disaster loan program and the decision to stop processing applications in may. that's alive at 10 a.m. at 12 p.m. the senate gavels in to continue work on judicial nominations. everything also streams live on the free c-span now that you have or online at >> listening to programs through writer just got easier. play c-span radio app listened "washington journal" daily at 7 a.m. eastern, important congressional hearings and other public affairs throughout the day and weekdays at 5 p.m. and


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