tv Book Discussion on Ronald Reagan CSPAN February 13, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EST
gary johnson is a presidential candidate for the libber tear yarn party. -- libertarian. he discusses his time as governor of new mexico. book tv has covered these candidates and you can watch them on our web site, booktv.org. >> in a recent article for the "washington post" magazine, justin moyer reports on people across the country who have taken on the challenge of reading the biography about every u.s. president. 27-year-old andrew cordis cowho reviews presidential biographies on his log, pre presidents project, compares the term of a president to a baseball season, in that, quote, no president has won 162 games and no president has won zero. bob, himmerman, 50-year-old librarian who completed his reading challenge in one year, comments that, quote, you'd think they'd have to be the most self-assured persons in the world but they were all sorts of
insecure. fredericksburg investment banker, steve floyd, who blogs that best presidential bios.com reads multiple biographies about each president and expects to complete his reading after four years and 200 bucks by presidents day 2017. for those looking to par take in their own principalat biography challenge, justin moyers suggests the american president series. this series begun hi arthur she is singer injure. offers short biographies of nearly every president. the most recent focuses on reagan's tenure book tv has covered numerous presidential biographies and you can watch the authors on our web site, booktv.org.
nod block. >> good evening. i'm bradley graham, the co-owner of politic and prose and behalf of the entire staff, welcome. just a few quick administrative notes. now would be a good time to turn off your cell phones or anything that might make a noise during tonight's presentation. when with get to the q & a part of the session, we do have book of there here this evening so it's especially important if you have a question, you make your way to that microphone so that the question gets heard on the tape, and then the rest of the room. and at the end, before you come up to have your book signed, our staff would really appreciate it if you'd fold up the chairs you're seated in, and leap them against something -- lean them
against something that won't topple over. it's really a pleasure to welcome back to the store jacob weisberg. jake last spoke here eight years ago for his book "the bush tragedy" about the administration of george w. bush, and he credits p & p with helping to push the book to best seller status. so we'll see what we can do for his new book about ronald reagan, called, appropriately "ronald reagan." this work is part of the american presidential series which is a series of concise, by comprehend biographies written by some quiet accomplished authors, and published by times books. are their schlesinger until his death nine years ago ed ited the series and says the point of the
project was to produce books compact enough for the reader, loose sudden enough nor the student and authoritative enough for the scholar. and jake's book on reagan mitts that mold. he managed in a slim 154 pains of text, not -- pages of text not only to capture reagan's extraordinary life but also to bore in on several issues of particular significance, among them, the role reagan played in ending the cold war, and the impenetrableness of reagan's mind. jake brought to the task long career in journalism that has included stints with "newsweek" and the new republic, pieces for "the new york times" magazine and financial times and "vanity fair," and years as editor and now chairman of the slate group. now, it's true, jake's political leanings have tended more towards the liberal than the conservative, but that didn't keep him from approaching the subject of reagan with a very
open mind and writing and admirably fair and balanced portrait of a complex american political figure. jake calls reagan the second most important president of the 20th century, after fdr, and shows there was much more to reagan than the usual stereotypes promoted by together democrats and republicans. so please joan me in welcoming jacob weisberg. [applause] >> thank you, bradley, for that kind introduction, and i just want to say i love this book store, not just because i do think it helps put my last book on the best-seller list, but bradley and elisa have done an amazing job with it. one of the best independent book stores in the country and you're lucky to have it here in washington and i'm lucky to be speak are here today. this is a short book can.
i consider that virtue, although some biographies are often considered a virtue to be as long as possible. i had to take the opposite approach here. this is really an exercise in distillation, in trying to figure out what is essential in the ronald reagan story, but also along the way, trying to take on some of these myths. myths on the left about reagan, that i think it's a myth the was a dunderhead. mights on the right bat reagan. a myth that he was always man of prim and didn't bend and didn't negotiate. in fact he was much here of practice ma 'tis and improviser that people -- itch you were to hear the version of him represented in, say, republican presidential debate, the reality ills very different. but i thought i'd talk about some of the things that i found really interesting that i learned doing this book, and part of the story that may be
people haven't aid quite as much attention to that i think are interesting and important, and the first thing i wanted to talk about is reagan's childhood. reagan had -- he wrote about his childhood -- the first place he wrote bit nittany detail is when he wrote, autobiography in 1964, a book called "writings the rest of me" chi which he reason when he was running for governor in california and wanted to explain why he moved from the left to the right, and he -- in the process told his life store, and writes about growing up in these small towns in downstate of western illinois, and iowa, and paint this idyllic picture. he calls it a huck finn, tom sawyer idle. he didn't get the. darker side of huck finn but he describes being out in the woods and this beautiful prairie
setting and iceskates on the river their rock river would freeze over in the winter and you put on iceskates and you could hold your coat up and he wind would carry you down the river on iceskates, and he described this small town community, this neighborly life, and he loved everything about it. we didn't have a lot of money he says but we had warm family life. my mother would make this delish thing called oatmeal meat, which is basically oat oatmeal and meat. then you think it was a happy childhood. then you hear this brother neil recounting the same evens who is older bay couple years. neil says dad was a terrible alcoholic, we went from town to town. by the time reagan was ten years old he had philadelphia ten different houses. they went to chicago at one point, where his dad got a job. his dad got arrested for public drunkenness and they had have to
chicago. they were being driven from pillar to post because of his father's alcoholism. and oatmeal meat was a thing -- neil said i never want to taste that again, something you eat if you can't afford anything else, oatmeal and meat and maybe put some salt in it. they would go to the butcher and say do you've have any liver? liver wasn't considered a great food to eat then. do you've have any liver left over for the cat and they'd take that home and make dinner out of it. so a totally different perspective on how they grew up and reagan's -- he told these an deck notes again and again, his favorite story, which i'm sure you have all heard, is about the parent who takes their two sons to the psychiatrist bus because the one son is such an optimist and the other is such a pessimist, and the psychiatrist takes the pessimistic son into a room filled with toys, and the
pessimistic son says, they're just going to break anyway. and he takes the optimistic son into a room filled with horse crap, and the kid gets out a shovel guard digging. what are you doing? with all this horse crap there has to be a pony in here somewhere. that reagan and his brother. one was the optimist, the other was the pest mist, and at some -- pessimist, and you say this is a view of the world and that's true. reagan was by nature an optimist but he had to figure out how to preserve that optimism in these really tough circumstances where he was growing up. at one point his father left the family for a mistress in another town. the parents never ended up splitting up. they got back together. this was a tough, tough, poor childhood, that went into the
depression era. when they just didn't have enough to keep body and soul together, and what i think reagan did -- this is a little built of a psychological theory that explains some of his behavior, but to be an optimist, having the kind of life, you learn to tune things out. you learn to not see things that were unpleasant to him, that made it hard to maintain that he was not having a happy childhood. he would choose not to hear certain things. he was very isolated kid and didn't have a lot of friend because he was being dragged from place to place and had to make new friends helped made that a positive. he loved being by himself. he loved being alone. but this thing about not hearing things he didn't want to hear and not seeing things he didn't want to see was also physiological. when he was 13 years old, he was -- he loved sports, loved playing football. want teed play baseball but
cooperate bay playable because he couldn't see the ball. only discovered this when he was 13 and driving somewhere and he tried on his mother's glasses and said, it's all clear now. so he was sort of in this visual fog for his whole childhood. then there are these very interesting things help writes in the first book, he hated wearing his glasses. people always said he is a vain hollywood actor, he hates wearing his glasses. no, he just kind of preferred things a little -- blurry, and likewise with his hearing when he was on some of the first movies he made in hollywood in the late 1930s the ralph bancroft movies where re plays an fbi agent who breaks up smuggling rings and counterfeiters and one of themly was -- somebody fired a blank gun right next to his here, basically left him deaf in one ear, and i don't know if his hearing was that good before that. all of these problems got worst over time.
hearing got worse, eyesight got worse. i also think this was really functional behavior because he -- through his life, when there were things that he preferred not to deal with because they were unhappy, or unpleasant, or involved conflict, or no politics involved contradictions that he didn't want to deal with, he had this way of tuning out and letting it be someone else's problem. letting it be someone else's issue. and you see this in his family life, his daughter, patty, very, very difficult relationship with nancy, her mother, and claimed nancy beat her and -- reagan just didn't want to deal with that. he just tuned it out and it's not that different from what happens in 1981 when david stockman comes to him and says, look, you can have the defense buildup, you can have the tax cuts or you can get rid of the deficit but you can't do all
three because the numbers don't add up and stockman describes this frustration in not getting reagan to be able to understand that these things were contradictory. i don't think reagan didn't understand it but he didn't have a solution to it, and the path of least resistance was to allow the deficit to grow, and to not fully engage in the problem and leave it to aides. so i think he learned through his life and through his political career that tuning out was functional behavior, and effective political technique for him. and i think people often -- when they would see the way he would distance himself and not engage and tune out, they would think, oh, he is clueless and out of it. at the great poignancy of this is at some point alzheimer's kicks in and there's been an interesting debate, probably -- first acknowledged he had alzheimer's several years after leaving the white house when he
wrote this moving letter to the country in 1994 about when alzheimer's started to have an effect. this actually had delicious fight going on between bill o'reilly and george will about it and george will says bill o'reilly in the killing reagan book has liabled reagan by saying that alzheimer's was affecting him earlier in this presidency. in fact, i looked at the o'reilly books he doesn't say what will says -- accuse otherwise him saying which is the assassination attempt and the recovery kick started his alzheimer's. he said it had a big physical effect on him, which everyone around reagan said it did. reagan was slower, his hearing woes, his recognize of people was worse after he was shot. i think the best evidence suggests that alzheimer's really started to affect himmin' 1986, around the time of iran-contra, around the time when he was most
embarrassingly unable to remember what had happened, and people assumed it was convenient not remembering. the think by that point it's actual not remembering. i think when the question of what did the know and when did he know it became a sort of cop none drum because dd conundrum because he didn't know what he didn't know. so alzheimer's was at the early stage and he had good days and bad days and days you can see him and think he is out of it and days when you would think he was the same person he was ten years before and wasn't affecting him at all. at some point this fog which he had always in a certain sense cultivated, became a real fog, and i find almost kind of poetry in that, that he sort of drifted away into this fogginess that he created himself. another aspect of reagan's
earlier career that i think is really, really judged studied is the period in the 19 -- understudied is the period when he moved from the left to the houston. his household was a new deal houstonhold. they were fdr supporters, reagan revery evidence fdr. he was a liberal democrat, a liberal anti-communist but campaigned for truman, and he voted for truman in 1952. in 1954 he was still -- would ask him what his views were, a liberal democrat. 1962, eight years later, he is so conservative that general electric, which had been employing him as spokesman, said we can't have this guy around. he's embarrassing us, and he adopted this view that basically liberalism was just a short stop on the way to socialism there, was a continuum between democratic libbal rhythm and
communist and we were sliding down that slippery slope. part of it came out of the -- which he read and influenced him. what happened in those eight years? that's a huge gap from truman democrat to goldwater conservative, and it's almost a blank period in reagan's life because everything before that is his hollywood career, which is incredibly well-documented. and it's documented the way a hollywood star is covered. he's covered as a celebrity, pictures everywhere he went, everything he wrote was in celebrity magazines, things being written about him. once he went into politics everything is documented. this period when he moved from left to right is like a hole. what he did was he went to work for general electric. the was the host of ge theater, this weekly television show where they would do a playhouse
where they would have one week a drama, one week a comedy, different actors. one of the first television shows that got famous film actors to appear on television, and and he hosted and it other row dues it. some weeks he acted in it. a great one where he acts opposite james dean and says this young man is going to be a big star. but the -- he also was kind of traveling spokesman for general electric. general electric was a huge company, factories all over the country, makes different kinds of appliances, giant temperature -- turbines, appliances, and reagan would go around to all these factories and facilities and he would speak to all the workers, and he was there partly because he was celebrity and they wanted him representing the company but also supposed to be the face of ge and he was representing ge management and ge's view of the
world, and when you start to look at what the ge view of the world was at that point, it's an amazing match for what reagan ended up thinking by the latter part of that period. so, very opposed to government regulation, why is government interfering in our business, very opposed to taxation and higher tasks, these taxes are killing us. what is government doing to support the business climate? reagan starts using the term where the talks not business climate, which is a ge phrase. the guy who was head of public affairs for ge actually coined the phrase, business climate, which now everybody uses all the time and his -- the view of the world he really represented was this 1950s corporate view which was very specifically ge residents view and the view that ge wanted to propound to it workers, and i don't think reagan took this on cynically or thought he was something -- a
prop propagandaist for ge. he was a big read are but a lot of the reading was coming through general electric. he was reading a lot of literature from the early conservative movement at that time. he was a charter subscribe her to william f. buckley's national review. he read "witness," an incredibly influential book on the right. some people said he enemy rised that book. -- enemy rised that book. -- memorized that book. and having all of this conversation to ge tomorrow president world influenced -- corporate world influenced him and took him so far that by the end of the period he has the view that government can do no good and business can do no ill, and it was really a blind spot, i think you could say forks the remainder of his career himself was i incapable of believe that government can be effective
outside of national defense and maybe a few other assumptions, and he never thinks business does anything wrong. he never -- he sort of doesn't -- not part of his vocabulary to think that business could be abusive or coercive or monopolistic. he always defended big business. it's really lard to tap that out. i went to the reagan library, and the file on the ge years is -- has like 30 pages in it. there's not a single surviving copy of the siege or recording that anybody has found of any of these hundreds if not thousands of speeches he gave on factory floors in a ge facility there are some speeches he gave at the period, some correspondence, some bits and pieces, but it's almost like detective work to try to put together this gap in his career, which i sort of think is central to everything but it's not only where his views emerged and his views form the core of the modern
conservative movement, and defined the conservative ear roo that gab with his election in 1980 and this question is important. maybe just as a last bit, but just to talk about reagan's roll in the end of the cold war and the collapse of communism, which is very contested and very interesting ground. when i went out at the reagan library, the best thing i did was they said after i'd been there few days, they said the librarian was very nice, came over -- they don't have many visitors there, at the presidential libraries and have a lot of staff. would you like to see the stuff in reagan's desk? and i said, sure. what's that? and she said, his desk was -- they box up all the stuff and they have that and you can request permission to look inside the box of what he had in his desk. this was stuff -- it's not exactly clear which desk at which time it was all in but i
pretty sure it was the stuff that was in his desk in his home in pacific palisades that he took with him to the governor's mansion in sacramento, and then ultimately took to the white house and had in his desk in the white house. when he left the white house it was put in boxes and it was like old desk diaries and the stuff you have that stays in your desk. and so there's a kind of poignant iconic quality. and there are few speeches, and some of them are speeches that you heard before but for some reasons these were speech he kept in his desk. one thing that he had written in 1962, which had never been published and it was a kind of essay he'd written. he was writing at that time essays -- wasn't dying his radio commentaries yet but he wrote a lot of the. probably wrote every day of his life and we was a good writer. he wrote for the human voice. he wrote as someone who had
developed his early career on radio, wrote to read. and in this one written in 1962, he said: it's possible that communism will take over and that will end in nuclear war and conflict but i think it's more likely that communism, soviet union will just collapse because he said communism isn't even a political system or an economic system. it's just a form of insanity. he said it's a violation of human nature that doesn't make any sense. no can would want to live like that. and he plays this up. you think it's an interesting view. people on the right didn't think that then. they didn't think communism was going to collapse but it was reagan applying his common sense perspective on everything.
he says doesn't make sense for people to live like that. nobody would tolerate it if they knew how we lived, they wouldn't stand for it and he had this kernel of an idea he held top and you find it repeated in various storms when he starts to do these interesting radio commentaries in the late 1970s, which were the place he really developed his political ideas between his losing campaign for president in 1976, when he challengeed gerald ford, and his winning cam anyone 1980. -- campaign in 1980. and that eccentric view matched up with other eccentric views he had. you find also read these commentaries, reagan hated nuclear weaponed. he hat been a pacifist. he called himself a pacifist, he went to see plays when he was very young, like 19 years old this, play, journey's end which is a play about the first world
war, british play that is kind of a pacifist play, before the the waste of the first world war and the trench warfare and these young men dying pointlessly. another thing that had a huge impact on him was in the second world war, he was making training films in hollywood, but at a military base. the base was sent these early films of the liberation of auschwitz. there's this myth that reagan claimed he was one of the people that liberated auschwitz. he never said anything like that. the kind of thing you can only brief if you don't know the story. about he did in 1945 filmed of the prisoners and the piles of corpses. a huge effect on him. ron junior remembers his father trying to make him watch this years later because he said you have to understand this about
humanity. that was another thing that influenced this idea he had that nuclear war would be totally howeverring and unacceptable and he thought, especially after he became president, and the say sass nation attempt that -- assassination attempt that is his mission was to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, and the conventional view, the conservative view, is that, well, he had the strategy of peace through strength, came into office, big military buildup, makes the soviet union bankrupt, forced them to collapse and surrender. i don't think that's at all what happened if you look at the record. he was desperate for a connection and negotiation with the soviet leaders. in the reagan library you can find hand written letters he wrote to every soviet leader when he was president, starting
weapons with the nuclear shield. he wanted to get rid of them and constantly trying to make a more radical proposal at that point he is really at odds with everybody in the administration to say this is a crazy idea they think he lost his marbles but george shultz the secretary of state said this is what the president wants to fight the key is right and we have to negotiate an agreement like this until reagan walked out over gorbachev not been willing to accept the star wars proposal. if they agreed to that we have to be prepared to implement that. ian and the picture of a reagan that emerges goes
back to the whole history he had of the opponent of nuclear weapons. that adds a lot of relationship that you can see in the second term not because he has gone soft but he has activated some views that are at odds with he was known for previously. that is a lot of food for thought. thank-you. [applause] come to the microphone if you have any questions. >> i enjoyed that very much. i thought that was great balance for his life and raises a lot of questions in my mind but most of the
issue partly in answer already but the one i am not clear:is his entrance into politics and the personal interest coming from a family of someone it dysfunction i guess. but not of great means or anything. as far as i can tell his father was not involved or his mother. so when did he get the idea he could take part in that as opposed to having political ideas? >> i will throw this in because i have the opportunity.
i we sought ge pulled him to the right and when they made an overture in that our in to think along the lines of corporate america. how did he move so quickly? mostly how did he get into politics. >> i will do second first. i don't think he wanted to be perceived to take political sides publicly. when he got too far as it was a problem for them.
it includes that interesting issue of why they fired him. with the antitrust case in the price-fixing case at the same time reagan was investigated with the antitrust case with the screen actors guild before a grand jury that not many knew about at the time but with their risk of embarrassment. he had his own death twice he was fired because he was too conservative and speaking his mind but that was not the reason. end with that new deal there
was a political awareness that he always enjoyed in politics and he was famous at the radio station where he worked in davenport iowa. when he got to hollywood he was a hollywood politician to seek out of the screen actors guild. but the other side that reagan had a pretty good self awareness. he knew his strength as an actor. he was reliable he was a long time and no monkey business. en you he was limited.
and at a fairly early stage. so wet that police he started to you think about as he had been approached to run for congress as a democratic couple of times in the 40's. he passed that up and had his eye on the from the early stage. >> if i could do a double question but procedurally, how long did it take to research june write the book? a year and second, reagan has bigger ideas and how it
might work. >> on the practicalities of writing a book i had then thinking of chemical life. trying to promote my a brooklyn facebook in some were responding in the mock debate in high-school i played the reagan part but not because i was a supporter but because there were no supporters. someone had to take a bullet in you and i did it. so i was following it but i never was fully engaged. so that reading and thinking in research part.
>> is in this to each question i don't think he had a detailed understanding of what government did in most cases. is bifurcated how a governor , reagan was very practical. and worked with the other side end to end up with a strong progressive and also seen at being at odds with him because it is a lot of
always oppose government taking on any additional function. >> you have anything to say about nancy's father? apparently a very conservative position in lake the role of bad. >> there is one theory that he fell under the influence of nancy's father they spend a lot of time together. they will all vacation in in arizona and reagan got to narrow goldwater through his father-in-law. but in the end it had happened by that point. first of all, nancy herself
was not particularly political when she met reagan she adopted and followed his policies and had her own view but her father was sometimes portrayed as the anti-semite and a big hit in the ultra-conservative. the evidence isn't really there. the timing doesn't quite add up what is surprising is the extent to which she did it on his own reagan wasn't in intellectual "the reader" and writer and had to come to those ideas even held by other people through the independent path.
>> was going to ask what effect nancy reagan or jane wyman glading to partially answered but the procedural question until well lecture at the smithsonian 15 years ago moderated by professors schlesinger, and franklin pierce i thought the series went away when dr. schlesinger and may have imagined that i thought it deane wrote the book on harding is that still going on? >> there all done now except
clinton i assume they will do it at some point may be years from now they're all written by different people william henry harrison was president 30 days in basically in a coma the whole time and it is about the presidency in she said she is every piece of the information she could find there was nothing left on the cutting room floor by reagan was the opposite. there was so much stuff did you have to digest. >> we strictly limited at 200 pages. >> ed is also the point is this to be in the range of 40,000 or 50,000 words but
briefly i will answer the question of his other wife because it is relevant jane wyman his first wife with the marriage came to an end she left him to help to produce that dynamic i talked about in the beginning to be isolating himself not to say the marriage was the results of that she said she couldn't get through to him he had an earlier relationship to a woman he grew up with it she broke off the engagement in said she couldn't tell the difference between fact and fantasy but the relationship and ending surprise him. he was gone his own if it is
part of the impenetrable quality to understand what is going on inside his head because he became very self protected based on these experiences with the story of the second marriage to someone he trusted to say who was you really close to? his mother in reno very little about that relationship and nancy. >>. >> that really speaks to my question as he has an unrealistic picture of the world ina psychotherapist in something i always wondered
how did you talk of his preference being different from what it was. with associative behavior in thinking. daydream chianina the conscious but the more you go towards pathology the less voluntary it is. but as far as being consciously delivered it is less and less i always wondered if he would so now.
i don't think he would do it consciously consciously but if it works when you do it more. i will think teeseven would turn off my hearing but this is our way deal with things i ignore them but it does certain things in his life eluded him in with a deeper into that. and don't try to put him on the couch it is a literary explanation but in to go
into the white house. more than any historian and that is what you got from watching him on tv. and made exactly the same it a good conclusion from that that he had no inner life. and what he should have said was i could not gain any access. and at this point it is very unlikely that we're going to have some breakthrough
access. when it doesn't mean it wasn't there he just hit it very well. >> i wonder how much control he had suspected just happened and then you don't have much control and then if it makes you feel good. >> but if it makes you a happy but it didn't make him unhappy. in the face of circumstances >> day have any sense and
how he spends his free time? in one else did he do? and with the second question what would he make of this year's republican. [laughter] including donald trump. >> i knew that was coming. he loved to watch movies. he just says what happens. 74 hair cuts. he just rates went to the doctor the benghazi goes further along he starts to recognize the alzheimer's.
to be knocked off at 6:00. he seems to be more responsive. said he gets offended when they use bad language and with one kind of reading when he is of boy and and another period in the '50s by the time he was president he likes three human agents and try to keep away from him with the stories in fables of with things that are not true and would have
to walk them back. the writing is interesting. his commentary from the late '70s is the most interesting and in written out in the long and. -- long he and. is the column in slate if we were looking they're pretty far out there but they are original and interesting with that quality with that rush limbaugh quality but it is compelling you want to keep listening. but the presidential field i did write up of exactly this
but it is funny because he is the patron saint in when they did that cnn debate the info kim 38 times that gives u.s. cents of the actual hierarchy. i think it is largely a full smith -- false myths vs. being a pragmatist but reagan thought at least three things to be kicked out today when was immigration there was a great quotation from his 84 debate with the ball with mondale he says i support amnesty who for people who
may have come here illegally but have worked hard in live in this country in southern california of the border fence was appalling. to move back and forth those might workers to pick the vegetables and if they don't they rocked. he thought that was a reality to live in a multi-cultural world period he liked the idea of immigration so his view which should be tolerant of the democratic party supported hand again control is because of what happened he could not have that position today is the last
one was abortion as he changed his view on that something called the therapeutic abortion bill that did maurer as roe v wade. it was influential early on to say your doctor can decide now regulator said he regretted that you're the one who legalized you cannot say alternately that was his view but it is the view is that he held but you could say it would make camel liberal with the party most of what they think it is consistent with the
contradictions a&m possibilities that the reagin economic plan embodied but it just shows how certain things with the required ideology of the republican party that were not 35 years ago. >> i come from an old washington family in agreement ronald reagan many times. my wife's father was his barber pole term. >> he space is secrets the first was hair so he died
with a lot of secrets but i went to notre dame. to about his relationship. >> jennifer is asking about the hair? [laughter] >> as you can see nobody but his hair color his age was not plausible did your father-in-law died in it? >> they say never die my hair with chemicals and i use vegetable oil and that is how they walk away from that. did you dye your hair disappears it falls out. >> key was the vegetable million? [laughter] sticky always could have had the virginia. but now which can be told.
>> that's a way in which reagan was like that character. >> when hesburgh would visit the white house reagan would show -- >> thank you, could you follow up on the comment that was made in the introduction. to the effect that you think i might think reagan was the second most influential president in the 20th century were sent fdr. >> i do think that. if you take a long perspective you have a liberal progressive wave, you can say the new deal era begins with roosevelt election in 1932. it really lasts until reagan is elected in 1980. and a lot of ways the republican president in that.