Monday, March 07, 2016

Nancy Reagan R.I.P.

When its time to write the late First Lady's biography she may just enter the history books as the most  creative thinker among Ronald Reagan's advisors. Granted, that ain't saying much, Messrs Deaver, Regan and Wineberger were famously sunny smiling California conservatives and as rigid as a steel girder with respect to ideology & governance.
It would never have occurred to any of them to recast Ronald Reagan in his second term as an Apostle of Peace and Reconciliation with the then USSR, that, was very much Nancy Reagan's idea.
And what the hell, it worked.
For a while there at life's outset Nancy Davis could have been a first wave feminist, she was a Smith Graduate and a working self reliant actress in Hollywood before she met "Ronnie" and became his second wife and very public spousal idolator.  By all accounts She was Betty Crocker in Public and very much Queen Elizabeth in Private....very domineering in other words. Rumor has it she reeled him in with a strategic and very old fashioned pregancy, ah but Nancy was always a master of very shopworn but effective tropes. Reagan would have always ended up a conservative but he might not have grabbed off the US Presidency without Nancy.
He certainly would never have held onto it without her, the man was clearly sliding into his dotage as early as October 1984 and who knows Nancy likely saw the terrible symptoms a lot earlier than the rest of us. She was virtually co-president in his second whatever he got done at that point it was thanks to her, soothsayers and astrologers and all. Ah but actors are a superstitious lot and Beverly Hills is given over to odd fits of cultism, in retrospect the urge to the supernatural on the part of Ron & Nancy can be at least understood.
And sad to say, the old woman goes to her grave as one of the few republicans capable of working with President Obama in a honest bipartisan basis When he freed up stem cell research Mrs Reagan came to the White House and got a Royal Reception, ah but the Obama's got what we used to call "Good Breeding".
The great irony I think of Nancy Reagan's life is that Ronnie probably married her because as a B-Movie actress (mostly) she'd never be competition for his own fitful career in the 1950's...and of course the woman ends up all but running the Free World.
RIP Mrs Reagan....

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