Craig Shirley: Nancy Secured Ronald Reagan’s Legacy

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On Breitbart News Sunday, host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon interviewed Ronald Reagan historian Craig Shirley about the the death of Nancy Reagan. Shirley has authored a number of influential books on Reagan, including his latest, Last Act: The Final Years and Enduring Legacy of Ronald Reagan. Bannon and Shirley spoke about how important Nancy was to Ronald Reagan’s career.

Shirley said that long-time Reagan aide Mike Deaver claimed “if it wasn’t for Nancy Reagan, Reagan would have never been Governor of California, never would have been president of the United States. She really was his helpmate, his soul mate, his best friend.”

As far as the great American presidential love stories, Shirley puts Ronald’s relationship with Nancy in the realm of the Washington and Adams couples.

Shirley said that while Nancy rarely involved herself in policy, she did play a major part with the personnel around America’s 40th president. She played a role in the firing of Reagan campaign strategist John Sears in the 1980 presidential election, which in part sparked his sagging GOP primary run.

One of the most important roles Nancy played, according to Shirley, was having a radar about people. She could detect who would use Ronald Reagan and who his real friends were.

“She was much better at sizing up people and judging people than he was, but she didn’t act as a kind of West Wing guardian as some recent books have tried to suggest,” Shirley claimed.

Nancy’s largest role, however, was advancing Ronald Reagan’s legacy as he succumbed to Alzheimer’s in the later stages of his life. She not only took care of him, but secured the building of the Reagan Presidential Library and preserved numerous documents that were attached to his life. Shirley said that all the projects to preserve Reagan’s memory to posterity bear “her fingerprints.”

Bannon and Shirley also discussed how the Reagans brought “glamor” back to the White House. However, Shirley said there was a deeper meaning to this than one might believe because “Reagan didn’t like the way [Jimmy] Carter had downgraded the White House.” Reagan wanted Americans to be “proud of their president.”

Listen to the full audio of Shirley’s interview on Breitbart News Sunday below:


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