Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ronald Reagan

Happy  100th Birthday Mr President!


The 100th anniversary of the birth of our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, is Sunday. On that day and during the year ahead, there will be many celebrations of the life of a man who remains one of the most beloved and respected of our modern presidents.

Ronald Reagan loved the United States with a deep passion and without apology. He believed in the American dream because he had lived it. He was a man of great common sense and much smarter than most presidential observers would give him credit for. He had a near-photographic memory, and was a good student of the complex issues a president must learn.

He always had a kind word or a "hello" and a "thank you" to those who served him. He never gave orders or raised his voice, but inspired us to to do the best we could. One never saw him lose his temper or mistreat staff members, even when many  deserved to have butts kicked for some screw-up.

The first time he saluted a military aide as he got off the presidential helicopter Marine One, someone told him he couldn't do that because he was a civilian. He retorted that somebody better get over to the Pentagon and get that rule changed, because as the commander in chief, he wanted to salute out of respect for his military. And every man, woman, officer, enlisted man or academy cadet; Marine, soldier, airman or sailor whom he saluted lit up with great pride.

A large number of military members assigned to tasks around the White House, and many Vietnam veterans, going to retire, but changed their minds and re-enlisted because of President Reagan. He totally rebuilt a post-Vietnam demoralized military.

When he came into office, we had ships that couldn't sail, planes that couldn't fly and soldiers and sailors on food stamps. By the end of his term, we again had the finest military in the world, one that has been tested in three major conflicts since his exit from the world stage.

Ronald Reagan wasn't perfect. He would be the first to tell you that. He had less ego than any politician I have ever dealt with and was a humble man. He had a philosophy that he had developed over many years and his belief system was unbending. 

There was a toughness to him, but always touched with compassion. He was strong enough to be gentle.That didn't mean he wouldn't compromise around the edges to get a deal with Congress -- but he never gave up on the things he truly believed in. And he could communicate. It wasn't great speech writers, it was him explaining his beliefs.

He was the friendliest of men, but also the ultimate loner. His true confidante and love was his Nancy. He would not have been president without her, nor would his life have been as full if she hadn't shared it.

People often ask me what was he really like. He was exactly what he appeared to be. A man who loved his country passionately and believed he had an obligation to make it better for the generations to come.Even though he ran for president twice before he was elected in 1980, he had not spent his entire life wanting to be president. He told me once it was sort of a destiny thing. After nearly losing his life in the infancy of his presidency, he thought he had a special role in being a good leader for an extraordinary country. He certainly was.

People also ask me what was the most important thing Reagan accomplished as president. My answer is that he made the presidency work again. After the tragic assassination of President Kennedy, President Johnson being driven from office, President Nixon impeached, and Presidents Ford and Carter defeated running for re-election, Americans thought the presidency was too big and that no man could fill the role. Reagan filled it and made it work again.

Whatever the historians write, Ronald Reagan made the world and our country a better place. He restored pride in our nation and made Americans believe in the slogan from his 1984 campaign: "Prouder, stronger, better."

Thanks to: Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, is senior presidential fellow at the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University. He is a principal with the Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations firm. He was White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

* I adored Ronald Reagan, fully supported him in his every endeavor. As a Senior Naval Officer wife, I was privy to much the average citizen never knew..With RR as Commander in Chief, and John Layman as Secretary of the Navy, America once again became  a "respected" force to be reckoned with!
 I for one slept very peacefully during the Regan administration.


  1. well this just brought tears to my eyes.
    You know how I feel about Pres. Reagan, though.
    He is very much missed.

  2. I think Ronald Reagan was my all-time favorite president. He had all the qualities I admire and the ability to carry out the duties of the office with grace, diplomacy and dignity!!! He was a real classy man!

  3. Beautiful post...I wish for another person with his values to lead us asap!!!
    Dorothy hit it perfectly "class" just can't fake it!!!
    Have a wonderful week!!!

  4. Wow what a wonderful post.So very touching. I am a big Ronald Reagan fan and even wrote a letter to him while he was president and got an answer. I was so thrilled when I opened the mailbox and saw that envelope with the Presidential seal on it! I also wanted to say that I hit a milestone on my blog and wanted to say Thank You for helping me get there with your nice comment on my blog.


welcome to my world of salty sunkissed breezes..
where time is not measured..
linger leisurely..
sift sugary white sand between your toes..
Make and take those wonderful memories..
leaving behind..only your footprints...