WS>>The Reagan I Knew

carl william spitzer iv cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Thu Feb 6 14:45:45 MST 2003

          by Lyn Nofziger

          Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2002

          Editor's note: This address, originally  delivered
          to the Council for National Policy in Philadelphia
          in June 2000, is reprinted with the permission  of
          the  author,  former senior adviser  to  President
          Ronald Reagan, in honor of Reagan's 91st  birthday

          Well,  thank you, Jim. I just want to say I don't  know
     that  guy at all. I'm real pleased to be here and it's  just
     an  honor  to have Jim Miller introduce me,  first  of  all,
     because  it's always nice to have somebody with  less  hair.
     And secondly, because if there was really a dedicated,  true
     blue Reaganite in the Reagan White House, it was Jim Miller.
     If Ronald Reagan had been lucky enough to have everybody  in
     his White House with the same dedication and the same  prin-
     ciples as Jim Miller, why, a great President would have been
     even a greater President.

          Anyway,  I'm pleased to be here his morning,  but  then
     I'm  always  pleased when I get a chance to talk  to  fellow
     conservatives. But I look around this room, and I know  some
     of  you have heard this before, because one of the things  I
     learned from Ronald Reagan a long time ago is it's easier to
     change  audiences than it is to change speeches. So, I  make
     the  same  speech.  And, for those of you  who've  heard  it
     before,  I also remember a little thing that Reagan used  to
     talk  about. He would talk about Dean Martin going  over  to
     Las Vegas, and he had an act in one of these cocktail loung-
     es.  And,  after going out there every day for a  couple  of
     weeks,  or every evening for a couple of weeks,  and  giving
     the same line of patter, he got tired of it. And so he  goes
     out  one  day  and begins to change  it.  And  he's  halfway
     through  and this little lady in the audience jumps  up  and
     she says, "That isn't the way you said it last night."

          So,  having  learned my lesson from one  of  the  great
     speakers our time, why, you get the same speech. And,  those
     of you who have heard it before, you're excused if you  wish
     to be.

          'Hunger in This Land to Hear About Him'

          When I was invited to speak here today, I said,  "Sure,
     I'd just love to, but is it all right if I talk about Ronald
     Reagan?"  And they said, "Well, that's what we want  you  to
     do." And I said, "It's a good thing, because I was going  to
     do  it anyway." You know, there is a hunger in this land  to
     hear  about him. He's been gone for over eleven  years  now,
     and  I think people miss him today more than ever.  I  don't
     think  there's many people in this country who are as  loved
     and  respected and admired as he is today, or  that  there's
     any  Republican president, at least in this century, who  is
     more loved and admired, and that includes Warren Harding.

          It's funny, but Americans who were grown when he was in
     office  want to hear about him again. They want to be  reas-
     sured about him. And so many Americans who were kids or  not
     even born when he was first elected, twenty years ago,  want
     to know about him, too. Because he's a unique figure in  our
     political  history. I know he wasn't perfect, and  I'm  sure
     there are some of you out there who thought he was a  little
     less  perfect  than I do. But, that's life. And, I  know  he
     made  mistakes  and  I know there are people  who  think  he
     wasn't all he could have been. But, I always have a question
     to ask them. Who would you have replaced him with? Who would
     have  done more to restore the American spirit,  the  belief
     that  Americans can do anything they put their mind to?  The
     spirit  of  optimism that he re-installed in this  land  and
     that still reigns. Who else would have stood against the big
     taxers  in  Congress and shoved supply side  economics  down
     their throat, with the help of people like Jim Miller?  And,
     make the last years of the twentieth century the most  pros-
     perous  in  our history, and believe you me, it  was  Ronald
     Reagan not Slick Willy who was responsible for that.

          Name me one other man who would have stood against  the
     tide  of communism and rolled it back. Well, maybe  Margaret
     Thatcher,  if  she'd  been an American, and  if  she  hadn't
     insisted on wearing skirts. But, no, he wasn't perfect. But,
     I  miss him, and America misses him, and I think  the  world
     misses  him, too. But, time goes by and he's gone,  and  the
     old  Reaganites are dying off. Jim is on his last legs  down
     there.  Or,  they're  going home or,  in  some  cases,  even
     switching  parties. And, there aren't that many of  us  left
     who  knew him in the olden days before he became  president,
     or  even  before, without firing a shot,  he  destroyed  the
     Soviet Union and won the Cold War. That's so far in the past
     now  that,  when you talk about winning the  Cold  War,  the
     young people think it means you're taking zinc tablets.

          I  am, purely through the luck of the draw, one of  the
     earliest  Reaganites. I like to think of myself as the  old-
     est,  next to Nancy, who keeps getting younger,  the  oldest
     living Reaganite both in terms of age and service. I  joined
     Reagan's  campaign  for governor, in February of  1966,  and
     served  in  every one his campaigns after that,  except  his
     second  gubernatorial  campaign, when I  was  in  Washington
     trying to keep Dick Nixon out of trouble. Failed again.

          I also worked in his governor's office and in his White
     House. I had two heroes in my life, and Ronald Reagan is one
     of  them,  and the other one is Ted Williams,  but  I'm  not
     going to talk about baseball here. I look at what's  happen-
     ing to the Baltimore Orioles and I'm elated that the guy who
     owns them, who's a liberal Democrat, is getting his  comeup-

          I'd like to start off today with one of Ronald Reagan's
     favorite  jokes. Because, as I said, he loved jokes  and  he
     liked  to  make his points with jokes and with  stories  and
     anecdotes. And I remember, of course, when that great Repub-
     lican  senator, Bob Packwood, went out and  complained  that
     all Reagan would do is tell stories. And, he wanted somebody
     in  the White House who was smarter than Ronald Reagan.  So,
     Bob  Packwood,  unfortunately, never made it. I  think  that
     some women got in his way.

          But,  his favorite joke is about this little  old  lady
     who'd  been a Republican all her life. And she  was  getting
     very  old and weak and she knew she didn't have much  longer
     to live. And so she called her grandson to her and she said,
     "Sonny,  go out and get me a registrar of voters. I wish  to
     change  my registration to Democrat." You know, the  kid  as
     aghast  and he said, "But Granny, you've been  a  Republican

     all  your  life."  He said, "Your parents  before  you  were
     Republicans,  your grandparents voted for  Abraham  Lincoln.
     Why? Why now?" And she says, "Well, Sonny, as you know,  I'm
     getting old and I'm going to die one of these days, and if I
     die, better one of them than one of us."

          'Why I'm a Republican'

          So  anyway, I feel the same way. I'm going  to  digress
     just a minute here. I wasn't going to take this time, but  I
     just love this little part, so you're just going to have  to
     put  up with me a little longer than usual. I used  to  tell
     people when they asked me why I'm a Republican, I said  it's
     because  Republicans tend to leave me alone more than  Demo-
     crats  do.  And, the keyword there, of course,  was  "tend."
     Republicans  also want to butt into my life too  much.  But,
     anyway,  a friend of mine then passed on to me a quote  from
     an old Massachusetts senator named George F. Hoar, that's H-
     O-A-R, for those of you who wondered. And, I want to read it
     to you. Because what he said, I think, will tell you why I'm
     a  Republican and why you are and, if you are not,  why  you
     should be.

          He said, "The men who do the work of piety and  charity
     in  our churches, the men who own and till their own  farms,
     the  men who went to war and saved their nation's honor,  by
     the  natural  law of their being, find their  place  in  the
     Republican  Party.  While,  the old slave  owner  and  slave
     driver,  the  saloonkeeper,,  the ballot  box  stuffer,  the
     criminal class of the great cities, the men who cannot  read
     or  write,  by the natural law of their  being,  find  their
     congenial  place  in the Democratic Party." So, you  see,  I
     really haven't had much choice.

          But  seriously, I am a Republican because, like  Ronald
     Reagan,  I believe that freedom is America's most  important
     product,  while most Democrats and too many Republicans  are
     too  willing  to trade freedom for security.  Ronald  Reagan
     believed  strongly in freedom, not only for  Americans,  but
     for all peoples.

          'Reagan Was a Devout Christian'

          Now most people are not aware of it, because he  didn't
     wear it on his sleeve, but Ronald Reagan was a devout Chris-
     tian. A strong believer in the need of and the need for  and
     the  power of prayer. And he believed that God had put  this
     country  here, between two oceans, for a very  special  pur-
     pose.  And, that purpose was to be a beacon of  freedom  for
     the  rest of the world. And he was determined that it  would
     be just that.

          He was also convinced that God had spared him from that
     assassin's bullet and - by the way, we're never going to let
     that  guy out of that nut house, I'll tell you this. But  he
     was  convinced  that God had spared him for a  very  special
     purpose. And he didn't know what it was then, but I  suspect
     if he were well today, he would think he was put here to  be
     the instrument for the destruction of the Soviet Empire. Now
     he  was  unique among politicians for a number  of  reasons.
     Most important to me was that he never got a fat head, never
     got  self-important, never saw the time when he  thought  he
     was  better than anyone else. You could always talk to  him,
     disagree with him, kid with him. And he was just one of  the
     guys.  I remember one time, Tony Dolan, who was one  of  his
     speechwriters, and the president and myself were going up to

     the  living quarters. And I've even forgotten the  occasion.
     But I remember what happened on that elevator. The president
     turned to me and he said, Lynwood, which is not my name. But
     he said, "Lynwood, I remember you when you were young."  And
     I  said, "Gee, Mr. President, I don't remember you when  you
     were young." And he laughed and I laughed and I looked  over
     the corner and there was Tony Dolan kind of shriveled up  in
     a  little knot over there, you know. And afterwards I  said,
     "What's  wrong with you?" He said, "I thought lightning  was
     going to strike."

          But,  as  I say, you could always kid with him  and  he
     liked it. He liked to exchange jokes and stuff like that. He
     was a genuinely nice man, a thoughtful man, and a  consider-
     ate man, even when I first got to know him back in 1965. And
     he was the same nice, thoughtful, considerable man, when  he
     left the White House.

          'Most  of  the Work of Government Does Not Need  to  Be

          I remember when he was the governor. Ed Meese and I are
     a  few  of  the last remaining people  from  the  governor's
     office. But, I remember, in the early days his senior  staff
     would  sit  around in the late afternoons and  evenings  and
     we'd  be having these meetings trying to figure out  how  to
     rule  the  world,  or at least the state.  And  Reagan,  who
     understood  very well what his job was, would get  up  about
     five  or  five thirty and go home. And take some  papers  to
     read with him, but he liked to go home and put on his  paja-
     mas  and watch a little television and roughhouse  with  his
     son, Ronald Reagan, and then read his papers. So, anyway, he
     would  come by and he'd look in the door and there we  would
     be having this serious meeting. And he'd say, "Gee, fellows,
     it's  time to go home to your wives and children." And  we'd
     say,  "But  if  we go home to them, who's going  to  do  the
     work?" And he'd say, "It doesn't need to be done." And,  you
     know,  the amazing thing was he was right. Most of the  work
     of  government  does not need to be done. And,  if  you  can
     remember  that, if we could all remember that, this  country
     would be better off.

          Another reason I admire him is that he was  consistent;
     at  least  for  a politician he  was  consistent.  Political
     pressures,  changes  in  political  situations,  changes  in
     leadership around the world make absolute consistency impos-
     sible  by any office holder. Reagan always knew who  he  was
     and  why it was that he was first governor and  then  presi-
     dent. There's an old saying that a foolish consistency is  a
     hobgoblin on little minds.

          But  Reagan  was not foolishly consistent, but  he  was
     consistent  in the big things. Take communism, if you  will.
     Without  question, the person most responsible  for  halting
     the  spread  of communism and for the demise of  the  Soviet
     Union  is Ronald Reagan. From the time during his  Hollywood
     days,  when Reagan discovered that the communist menace  was
     real, and that it was an evil that needed to be  eradicated,
     he was consistent in his desire to put an end to it. He  was
     the first president after World War II who stopped communism
     dead  in its tracks. Under Ronald Reagan, communism did  not
     gain  one inch of new territory, and no other president  can
     make that statement.

          'Sissies at the State Department'

          It  was no accident that he called the Soviet Union  an
     evil empire. No careless remark, no slip of the tongue. Tony
     Dolan wrote that speech, and he had the term evil empire  in
     there,  and they sent it over to the State Department to  be
     vetted  by  those sissies there. And they looked at  it  and
     they crossed it out and they sent it back, and Reagan  wrote
     it  back in, and they sent it back to be re-vetted and  they
     crossed  it  out again, and they sent it  back,  and  Ronald
     Reagan  put it back in and used it. But he  understood  that
     not only the American people, but also the world, needed  to
     be told the truth about Soviet communism. He was not  afraid
     to say the things that he believed, regardless of whether or
     not  the people in the State Department thought it  was  the
     proper thing to do.

          The  same  thing was true when he  called  upon  Mikail
     Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. The speechwriter for
     that  went to the State Department in advance and they  said
     now,  nobody wants you to talk about the Wall,  they're  all
     used to it and everything else, and he went over and  talked
     to  some of the common people. They all wanted the  Wall  to
     come down. You know, it was really something that they  felt
     strongly about. So he wrote those lines about Mr.  Gorbachev
     come  here and tear down this Wall. We sent it to the  State
     Department to be vetted and the sissies at the State Depart-
     ment  took it out. So it came back to the president  and  he
     wrote it back in and they sent it back to the State  Depart-
     ment  and they took it out. So they sent it back  to  Reagan
     and he used it. And, of course, if there are memorable lines
     from  his presidency, two of them are the evil empire  lines
     and  the other one is "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this  wall."
     He was a man who firmly believed that communism was evil and
     you had to stand up to it, and he did not hesitate to do so.

          I  remember,  when he was going to  meet  Gorbachev  at
     Reykjavik  and Gorbachev had just taken office and the  talk
     was  that  this was basically going to be  a  friendly  get-
     together  meeting.  There  was a lot of  concern  among  the
     conservatives in town that he was going to go over there and
     Gorbachev  was going to spring a surprise and kind  of  have
     Reagan for lunch.

          So I got some calls from some people. And I did someth-
     ing that I almost never did. I called the White House and  I
     said  I want to see the president. And somebody  over  there
     made a terrible mistake and said, okay, come on over at five
     o'clock. So I went over at five o'clock. And I get there and
     they said, "You're to see the president in the living  quar-
     ters,"  which  is  also highly unusual. So I go  up  to  the
     living  quarters and there's just me and Ronnie.  Which  was
     the  dumbest thing that I can remember anyone in  the  White
     House  ever doing. You never want to let anybody alone  with
     the  president, especially somebody from outside  the  White
     House,  because you never know what he's going to  tell  the
     president  and what the president's going to believe,  which
     is even worse. Or, you never know what the president's going
     to  say  that I'm going to go out and tell the rest  of  the
     world. And you need somebody there as a witness and somebody
     there  to  make  sure the president stays on  track  and  so

          But  there  was just Ronnie and me. And, I  said,  "Mr.
     President,  I'm here because there's a lot of concern  about
     what's  going to go on at Reykjavik, and people are  fearful
     that you're just going to take a beating over there." And he
     said,  "Lynwood,"  still not my name. He said,  "Lynwood,  I

     don't want you ever to worry about me and the communists.  I
     still have the scars on my back from fighting them in Holly-
     wood." That's right, and you remember, he and George Murphy,
     who  later  became  a United States senator,  were  the  two
     Hollywood actors who stood up to the communists in Hollywood
     and their effort, and it was a serious effort, to take  over
     the  movie  industry. And they were the people  who  stopped
     that, also in its tracks. And that was kind of a rough  time
     for him. And, so, he knew what the communists were like long
     before he ever got to Washington.

          I want to tell you one other little story about  Reagan
     that has to do with his foreign policy, and it doesn't  have
     anything to do with the Soviet Union, but it tells you  want
     kind  of a man Reagan was. Some of you may remember  a  town
     called  Bitburg when Reagan was going to go over and  lay  a
     wreath.  This  was over in Germany and head  of  the  German
     government, whatever you call him, de fuhrer, I guess,  but,
     anyway,  he wanted Reagan to come over and lay this  wreath.
     And we'd sent people over and they picked out this  cemetery
     in the town of Bitburg, and they'd gone there and there  was
     snow on the ground. So they didn't notice that a lot of  the
     tombstones  were  those of SS troops who  were,  of  course,
     Hitler's  elite and people who participated in the  persecu-
     tion  of the Jews and so forth. And, so, when that was  dis-
     covered, there was a big to-do here in the country and there
     were  a  lot of complaints about the  president  going  over
     there, and a lot of pressure was being brought on him not to

          And,  so, once again, yielding to the pleas of some  of
     my  friends, I called Nancy, and I said, "Nancy,  you  can't
     let the President to go to Bitburg." She said, "You talk  to
     him." She had talked to him without much result. Anybody who
     thinks  that Ronald Reagan was run by Nancy  Reagan  doesn't
     really  understand. You know, on things that didn't  matter,
     she  had her say. On things that were important, he had  his
     say, and I think that's well to remember. So, she said, "You
     call  him." So, I said, "Okay, I'll call him." So  I  called
     the president and I said, "Mr. President, I don't think  you
     ought to go to Bitburg," and he said, "Lynwood, I'm going to
     Bitburg." He said, "I made a commitment to Chancellor  Kohl,
     and I am not going to back off on that commitment." He said,
     "He  wants me to come and I'm going." So he went,  and  they
     made some little changes in the ceremony so it wasn't  quite
     so  bad.  But he went and, you know, even though  there  had
     been complaints about that, there was no lasting objections,
     because  people understood and appreciated the fact that  he
     was willing to live up to a commitment and to stand for  the
     things that he had promised.

          'Not Afraid to Stand Up'

          You know, among other things, and that was an illustra-
     tion  of it, but among other qualities, Reagan was  truly  a
     brave  man. The story I always like was the one when he  was
     governor.  He  was having his weekly press  conference.  And
     outside  the door of the press room, there was a  demonstra-
     tion going on by members of Cesar Chavez union. You remember
     Cesar  Chavez,  the  grapes and the lettuce  and  so  forth.
     They're trying to make a saint out of him in California, St.
     Cesar,  I  think we call him. But anyway, his  security  man
     came  up  to  me. And in those days Ronald  Reagan  had  one
     security  man. You see governors with tiny states  now  with
     dozens of in security men. But he had one security man. And,
     the  security  man came up to me and said, "Lyn,  there's  a

     demonstration  going on outside, I think we ought to go  out
     the  back way." And, I said, "Fine, we'll do that."  So,  as
     soon as the press conference was over, I grabbed the  gover-
     nor,  and I said, "Governor, I think we'll go out  the  back
     way this time." And he started to walk with me and he  said,
     "Why  are we going this way?" And I said, "Well,  it's  just
     another  way to go." And, he said, "No, that's not  so.  Why
     are  we going this way?" And I said, "Well, there's some  of
     Cesar Chavez' people out there and they're creating a little
     disturbance."  He said, "Nobody's going to tell me  where  I
     can go in my capital." He turns around and he walks out  the
     door. And the demonstrators parted just like the Red Sea and
     he walked on through them, you know, and just kind of chuck-
     ling.  Followed  by me and his chief of staff and  his  lone
     security man. He was not afraid to stand up to people and to
     assert himself when he needed to do so.

          Of course, you always go back to when he was shot.  And
     that's  always, to me, a very interesting story. Because  he
     didn't know he was shot, you know. Hinkley is shooting  this
     little  twenty-two  over everywhere, and  Reagan's  security
     men,  Secret Service, threw him in the limousine  and  threw
     him on the floor of the limousine and jumped on top of  him.
     And the limousine sped off and the security man gets off  of
     him, pulls Reagan up on the seat, and Reagan starts coughing
     blood. Then he turns to him and he said, "Damn you. When you
     jumped on my back, you broke one of my ribs and punctured  a
     lung."  Well the Secret Service man wasn't so sure  of  that
     and he raised Reagan's coat and he rubbed his hands all over
     the back of Reagan to see if there was any blood; there  was
     no blood. But because Reagan was coughing blood, instead  of
     going to the White House, which they initially tended to do,
     they  headed  for George Washington hospital. And  they  get
     there and they find out that a fragment of the bullet appar-
     ently had gone between the door of the car and the door  jam
     and  hit him right under his arm. So, they get him into  one
     of these little rooms that they have in emergency  hospitals
     and the doctor comes in and they start cutting off his suit,
     which  just made him madder than hell. One thing about  Rea-
     gan, he was a little bit of a tightwad, you know. He grew up
     poor  and he understood the value of a dollar. All I  remem-
     ber, when I first met him, he had shirts that he'd worn  for
     years  because he had them tailor made, but he had  them  so
     that when the collar frayed, you could reverse the collar so
     you  could  keep on wearing on the shirt. And, some  of  his
     trousers were so old, the fly still buttoned, you know.  And
     that's true.

          'This Is a New Suit'

          And  anyway, he said, "This is a new suit."  You  know,
     and he was worried about his suit. These guys were trying to
     save his life, and he was worried about his suit. So anyway,
     they get his suit off him and eventually get him on a gurney
     and  start wheeling him into the operating room, and he  was
     wheeled by four of us standing there - Paul Laxalt, Ed Meese
     and  Jim  Baker and myself. And, he looked up and  he  said,
     "Who's  tending the store?" And he gets into  the  operating
     room and he looks at the doctors and he says, "I hope you're
     all Republicans."

          No, and it was a funny thing. Being an old reporter,  I
     was  there, and I'd found some paper. We'd gone  over  there
     because  Jim Brady had been badly wounded. And I was not  in
     the press part, but I'd been his press secretary and I  knew
     him,  so I went on over and began taking notes of all  these

     things,  these witty things he'd said, just  for  posterity.
     But we managed to get a hold of an auditorium and to hold  a
     press  briefing  there. And there were, I suppose,  by  this
     time,  a hundred or so reporters there. And I  finished  the
     press  briefing and I turned to walk away. And  somebody  in
     the audience asked, "Did Reagan have anything to say?"  And,
     I  said, "Oh, my goodness, I forgot." So, I go back  to  the
     microphone  and I pull out these notes that I'd made, and  I
     read  all  these quips that he'd said, and  those  were  the
     things  that got out on the air and convinced  the  American
     people that Ronald Reagan was going to be all right, and the
     country was going to be all right. And if that man out there
     in the audience had not said that, I'd have never gone  back
     and said those. I might have done it a couple of hours later
     at  the next briefing, but I truly think that that was  just
     not  a happenstance, that that man was put there for a  pur-

          Anyway,  that, of course, was Reagan at his  very  bra-
     vest,  quipping,  laughing his way through what  could  have
     been a terrible disaster.

          Now  one of Reagan's greatest qualities was  his  opti-
     mism.  And  it was real and it was contagious.  One  of  his
     greatest accomplishments as president was to restore a sense
     of optimism to the country. And as I said earlier, a feeling
     that Americans can do anything they put their minds to.  You
     know,  about a year before the 1980 election, Jimmy  Carter,
     who  is my favorite dog to kick, went up to Camp  David  and
     spent a week of there cogitating and thinking and  knuckling
     his brow and cracking his knuckles and trying to figure  out
     what this world was all about. And he came back down and  he
     made  three points. One of them was that there's  a  natural
     malaise  in  the  country. Another one was  that  maybe  our
     problems are so big that we can't solve them. And the  third
     one  was maybe the job of president has gotten too  big  for
     any one man. But, you know, that's a very funny thing for  a
     guy who wants to serve another four years.

          'Believed in the American People'

          But,  in any event, Ronald Reagan was not like that  at
     all. He understood, first of all, and believed in the Ameri-
     can people. He did not believe there was a national malaise.
     As I say, he believed the American people could do  anything
     they  put their minds to. And, more than that, he was  abso-
     lutely  confident  that he could do the  job  of  president.
     Because  he knew what the job of president was.  When  Jimmy
     Carter went into office, he kept track of who played  tennis
     on the White House tennis courts. He insisted on vetting the
     secretaries  of his senior staff. Those things are  not  the
     jobs  of presidents. And Reagan understood that the  job  of
     president was to set policy, to set a direction in which the
     country would go, and then to make the tough decisions.  And
     he knew that you didn't have to work sixteen hours a day  to
     do that. He always said that he needed eight hours of  sleep
     and he did better on nine and he never hesitated to take it.

          So it was sense of optimism, this feeling that he could
     do  it. This feeling that the American people could  do  it,
     that swept through the country and changed, I think,  things
     for the better for a long time. He used to tell a joke  that
     I think tells more about him than it did about the point  he
     was  trying to make with this joke. It was about  these  two
     little kids about six years old. They were twins. And one of
     them was an incurable pessimist and the other one an  incur-

     able optimist, to the point where their parents were  really
     worried about them. And being modern parents, they called in
     a  child  psychiatrist. And the psychiatrist  says,  "Oh,  I
     think I can handle this." So he takes the little kid who's a
     pessimist  into a room and the room is all filled with  toys
     and games and a bicycle and all these wonderful things,  you
     know,  and  the kid burst into tears. And  the  psychiatrist
     says,  "Well, you know, Sonny, what are you  crying  about?"
     Well, he said, "Look at all these toys and games and  every-
     thing. Somebody's going to steal some of them, they're going
     to  wear  out,  I'm going to lose  them,  they're  going  to
     break."  And, he was just inconsolable. Well,  the  psychia-
     trist said, well, maybe I'll do better with the kid who's an
     optimist, so he takes him into a room and he opens the  door
     of  the room and the room is filled with horse  manure.  And
     the  kid utters a squeal of delight, and he  goes  borrowing
     into  the  pile.  And the psychiatrist grabbed  him  and  he
     pulled  him out and he says, "What are you doing in  there?"
     And the kid says, "With all this stuff, there's got to be  a
     pony in there somewhere."

          'Reagan Could Always See the Pony'

          Well,  Ronald  Reagan  could always see  the  pony.  He
     always  knew there was a pony in there somewhere,  and  that
     was the kind of thing that, the kind of attitude, as I  say,
     that  infected and infested the whole country while  he  was
     here and helped bring back the can-do spirit that  Americans
     are so noted for.

          Let  me  talk  just a minute about  Ronald  Reagan  the
     politician, and then I will shut up. I promise you. I  think
     he  was the best candidate that I've ever seen, and for  one
     main reason. He let you run his campaigns. He knew that  his
     job  was to be the candidate, and he let other people  worry
     about  the nuts and bolts of the campaign. Too  many  candi-
     dates,  I'm not pointing any fingers here, too  many  candi-
     dates think that they have to worry about the details of the
     campaign.  It's  a  full-time job being  a  good  candidate,
     making the speeches, knowing the issues, getting to know the
     people. And, he instinctively understood that. He knew  what
     was  best for him. And the only time he would disagree  with
     you, running the campaign, was if you wanted to do something
     that  he  thought was not helpful to him, he would  say,  "I
     know me, I know what's best for me." And, he did, that's the
     amazing thing.

          He  was  a great extemporaneous speaker. You  know,  we
     always think of Ronald Reagan with his notes and his  little
     three  by  five  cards, but he was  a  great  extemporaneous
     speaker, too, and he was greater at answering questions.

          You  know, when he first was running for governor,  his
     campaign  people, like so many other people, thought,  well,
     gee, we've got a dumb actor on our hands, and all he does is
     memorize lines. And that irritated him. He didn't mind being
     called  an actor, he didn't like being called dumb.  So,  he
     said, "I'm going to go out and take questions," and it  just
     scared the heck out of his campaign people. They said, "He's
     really  going to get in trouble." But, he went out and  took
     questions,  and he studied his policies and so forth and  so
     on.  And his ability to take questions, any  questions  from
     the  audience,  were one of the things  that  convinced  the
     people  of  California that here is a guy who's  fit  to  be
     president,  or governor. I always thought he was fit  to  be

          But one of the things he did, somebody in California, a
     man  named  Bob Walker, now deceased, but some  of  you  may
     remember  him. He was one of the good, conservative  politi-
     cians  of our time, and he dreamed up something  called  the
     eleventh  commandment.  He gave it to the  chairman  of  the
     Republican  Party out there, who gave it to  Ronald  Reagan.
     And  the eleventh commandment was "Thou shalt not speak  ill
     of another Republican." And that worked very well for him in
     the gubernatorial campaign, because every time his opponents
     in the primary picked on him, he'd holler eleventh  command-
     ment. You see, and everybody would say, well, they shouldn't
     be picking on Ronald Reagan.

          But  it was, nevertheless, a good thing.  Because  when
     Republicans  fight  at each other, they tend to  lose.  When
     Republicans unite, then they tend to win. And Reagan  under-
     stood  that.  And he understood that  the  Republican  Party
     should  be a party of inclusion and not exclusion. And  when
     you  begin excluding people from our party, of  course,  you
     don't  agree with them on one or two issues, then you  begin
     losing. And if George W. Bush forgets this, if he thinks  he
     can get by without some segment of the GOP or without bring-
     ing in the Reagan Democrats and the blue-collar workers  and
     the  social conservatives, bringing them into his  campaign,
     then he's not going to win. And, I think you all agree, that
     before the sun goes down on more elections, for the sake  of
     that  old  man out there in California, we need to  win  one
     more  for the Gipper. And, I hope we'll do that, and I  hope
     you'll  all  go out and work towards that, and I  thank  you
     very much.

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