Ron Reagan interviewed his mom, Nancy Reagan, today on Air America Radio regarding the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. It was incredibly, incredibly moving. Ron’s show comes on every day at 5:00 p.m. in the Chicagoland area.
Asking his mother how her and her late husband’s friendship with Ted Kennedy started, Mrs. Reagan responded responded, “Nobody really knew it,” that their friendship was so close. “I think they couldn’t quite conceive of two people in two different parties, how could that become a friendship? Which it, of course, did.
“Yes,” her son Ron replied.
“I think it started when we first got to Washington and Teddy asked Dad, Daddy, if he could bring his mother to the Oval Office. And Daddy, of course, said, ‘Of course.’ Which he did.
“And then after that, he asked him to speak at the Kennedy Library, which he did. And from then on, they developed this friendship.”
“Both of them respected one another,” Mrs. Reagan continued. “It was a very good friendship. It’s what there should be more of today.You know, two different parties. Enough with all this other stuff.”
Ron commented that it would be unusual today, his father and Ted Kennedy, “polar opposites politically,” that a friendship like that could begin and endure for so long.
“But it shouldn’t be,” his mother replied. “It shouldn’t be thought of as unusual. That’s my point. It just shouldn’t. They were two men who respected each other — didn’t agree, politically — but that doesn’t make any difference. You can still respect one another. And they did.”
She continued, “Ted gave the best speech about Daddy that I have ever heard. I forgot what it was, but, oh, it was a good speech. So good.”
“I got to know him better over our association over stem cell [research], because we both worked very hard for that,” Mrs. Reagan went on. “There just was a great, great friendship and respect for one another.”
“I’ll miss him,” Mrs. Reagan said.
The interview is very moving, especially when the conversation turned to President Reagan’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. A subsequent phone call Mrs. Reagan received on her birthday is also very moving.
“It was a good, solid friendship,” Mrs. Reagan said, “We need more of them today.”
Ron asks his mother if perhaps there was an “air of sympatico” between his father and Senator Kennedy because of the attempt on President Reagan’s life, and Mrs. Reagan says she “never thought about it like that. How smart you are!” she says to her son.
That was quite nice.
Mrs. Reagan also expressed her hope that health care reform would pass.
Listen to the whole interview here:
I have to say, this was one of the most touching interviews I’ve ever heard in my life. I had to pull the car over because my eyes were watering up. Gave me a whole new perspective on Mrs. Reagan, and I appreciate that.
Very moving. Very stirring.