News out in the last hour that Nancy Reagan has passed away at 94. I don’t have much to add beyond the obvious—that she was a significant influence on her husband’s career and course once in office, though I also think her influence was distorted or overstated in some ways. I didn’t write about her much in my two Reagan books in part because I became convinced that the most important interactions between her and “Ronnie” occurred privately in the White House family quarters, and that we’ll likely never know the true extent and nature of it. I do know of some evidence of President Reagan resisting, in his typical passive-aggressive way, her entreaties on some issues.
It had to be a long slog for her when Ronald fell victim to Alzheimer’s in the early 1990s. Carol Laxalt, Paul Laxalt’s wife, told me in an interview that Nancy had said to her around that time: “You looked forward to walking down memory lane, but now I have to do it alone.” RIP.
Here’s one worthy recollection from better times: