Tags: Presidential History | Reagan | Nancy Reagan

Remembering Nancy Reagan

Remembering Nancy Reagan
Ronald and Nancy Reagan, 1981 (AP) 

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Monday, 07 March 2016 07:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In 1980 it was my distinct privilege and honor to be part of the team that worked on the Reagan campaign for President.

And to be clear, I was just a small cog in a movement that help one greatest the presidents in American history.

Gov. Reagan had quite a team. Most had been with him for over 20 years since his tenure as Governor of California, Ed Meese, Mike Deaver, Lyn Nofziger, and Martin Anderson — just to name a few.

But the greatest member of his team was Nancy Reagan. The Reagan’s were totally devoted to each other and Nancy was his most trusted confidant.

I first met Governor and Mrs. Reagan after he became the nominee of the Republican Party in 1980 and the headquarters was moved from Los Angles to Arlington Va.

The Reagan’s moved as well from the West Coast and rented a 160 acre horse farm in Middleburg, Va., previously owned by President and Mrs. Kennedy.

The farm Wexford was named by Jackie Kennedy after a town in Ireland where the Kennedy family had roots. Unfortunately, JFK would spend a very short amount of time there before his assassination.

It was at Wexford where Ed Meese introduced me to Gov. Reagan. The governor had been riding earlier and he was coming from the barn when he welcomed me to the team. Suffice to say it was a surreal moment that I will never forget.

Later I would meet Mrs. Reagan.

It was at Wexford where then Gov. Reagan prepared for the Debates against Jimmy Carter. And it was there that most of the top meetings took place when Gov. Reagan was not out campaigning.

Six of us or so were detached to the senior staff and we shuffled between the Arlington campaign headquarters and the farm in Middleburg.

To be honest, we were drivers and gophers but many times we had a ring side seat to history. When meetings were transpiring one or two of us would usually hang out in the kitchen. From time to time Mrs. Reagan would come in and offer us a sandwich or ask us to run an errand. We would pick up the laundry or even bring the barber from D.C.

Several times I was asked to carry a hand written note to Cap Weinberger, other times private correspondence to senior staff members and once I carried a note to George Will.

Mrs. Reagan was always engaging and gracious to us.

Much has been written about Mrs. Reagan.


Yes she was extremely loyal and protective of “Ronnie,” as she lovingly referred to him.


For me personally and for those who were on the team during the last five months or so of the 1980 campaign, we saw a woman of great strength and kindness who went on to become an extraordinary first lady.

Marc Rotterman worked on the national campaign for Reagan for president in 1980. He currently serves as senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.


















 

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MarcRotterman
She was extremely loyal and protective of “Ronnie." For me personally and for those who were on the team during the last five months or so of the 1980 campaign, we saw a woman of great strength and kindness who went on to become an extraordinary first lady.
Reagan, Nancy Reagan
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2016-57-07
Monday, 07 March 2016 07:57 AM
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