Tags: | nancy reagan | encouraged | presidential run | supported | russia | peace

Nancy Reagan 'Was the Woman Behind the Man'

Image: Nancy Reagan 'Was the Woman Behind the Man'
Nancy Reagan watches President Ronald Reagan get sworn in during his second inaugural. (Getty)

By    |   Sunday, 06 Mar 2016 12:44 PM

Former first lady Nancy Reagan played a strong role in her husband's presidency, including ending the Cold War, said K.T. McFarland, who served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Ronald Reagan White House.

Nancy Reagan died Sunday morning at age 94. 

Reagan "understood the role her husband could play in history," McFarland told Fox News Channel.

"Nancy Reagan was one of the people whispering in President Reagan's ear that it was time to have a new relationship, reach out, have an overture, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," she said. "The joke was always around the White House that when President Reagan met with Soviet leaders for the first time, that Gorbachev had said, 'Well, Mrs. Reagan, whisper in the president's ear every night when you go to bed, peace, peace, peace.' And she said, 'I'm whispering in your ear. 'It's time for peace, peace, peace.'"

While Nancy Reagan was not an official political adviser, she was "someone who said, "President, my dear husband, this is your time, this is your moment, you can do this, no one else can,' and she was the woman behind the man," McFarland said.

It was Nancy Reagan who talked her husband into pursuing the presidency again in 1980 after a loss at the GOP convention in 1976, said Ed Rollins, who also served in the Reagan administration as political affairs assistant.

"He said, 'All right, took my shot, didn't work out, I'll go live happily ever after,'" Rollins told Fox News that Ronald Reagan once told him, but Nancy "was the one who pushed and pushed hard and convinced him that the country desperately needed his leadership, and I don't think he would have been president without her."

Rollins called Nancy Reagan "an extraordinarily classy lady, brilliant, kind, charming," who also "could be very tough when things weren't going right for her … or she thought the staff was not serving him well."

Rollins called the early criticism of her as first lady unfounded. The White House china controversy came as a result of her trying to bring class and elegance back to White House and was paid for by private funds.

Rollins called allegations that she consulted an astrologer for advice on her husband's presidency "a lot of crap."

Treasury Secretary Donald Regan leaked the story to "get his revenge, and didn't treat her with the respect she deserved," Rollins said, "and at the end of the day failed the president."

Barbara Bush, who followed Reagan as first lady when her husband, George H.W. Bush, was elected president, released a statement saying, "Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be united once more."

Tributes and memories poured out on Twitter:











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Former first lady Nancy Reagan played a strong role in her husband's presidency, including ending the Cold War, said K.T. McFarland, who served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Ronald Reagan White House.Nancy Reagan died Sunday morning at age 94. Reagan ...
nancy reagan, encouraged, presidential run, supported, russia, peace
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2016-44-06
Sunday, 06 Mar 2016 12:44 PM
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