James Rosebush: Nancy Reagan Brought ‘American Exceptionalism’ Back to the White House

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On Breitbart News Sunday, host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon interviewed James Rosebush, the Deputy Assistant to President Reagan and Chief of Staff to First Lady Nancy Reagan. Rosebush wrote the book True Reagan: What Made Ronald Reagan Great and Why It Matters and discussed the death of Nancy Reagan.

“Nancy Reagan was one of the smartest people you will ever meet,” Rosebush said. “She basically wanted to know everything that was going on in the president’s life. It didn’t mean that she necessarily wanted to influence it, but she wanted to be aware of it and be a staunch supporter with him.”

Rosebush said there was a real “compact” between the Reagans and they worked together on so many things. They supported each other in areas of weakness, and Nancy worked hard to ensure Ronald Reagan’s success. This relationship ultimately benefitted the American people, according to Rosebush.

“I always say the American taxpayer got a good deal with Nancy Reagan,” Rosebush said.

Bannon and Rosebush discussed how Nancy Reagan really understood political and social issues but often avoided becoming directly involved with policy because she thought it was improper.

“She knew that she was not elected,” Rosebush said. “She was there in a supportive role and she used her own bully pulpit to draw attention and put a spotlight on things she cared about.”

Bringing back the gravity and prestige of the presidency was a big deal to the Reagans, according to Rosebush, and it is not just there for the president’s “aggrandizement.” Nancy Reagan had a huge role to play in bringing back that prestige and Rosebush said that “when you went to the White House, you felt it.”

This was done to demonstrate the “American ideal” and “American exceptionalism.” The White House would the the shining city on a hill that demonstrated American power to the word and gave the American people pride in their government.

Rosebush said that Nancy made the White House “influential and inspiring.”

A major event that Nancy played a key role in was in helping President Reagan after he was shot by John Hinckley, which took an immense physical toll on Reagan. She watched his diet and helped him rehabilitate.

The assassination attempt changed Nancy Reagan to a certain extent, Rosebush said. It added a “degree of fear and uncertainty” to her life, but strengthened the bond with the Secret Service and those who were tasked with protecting the president.

The military and the Secret Service loved the Reagans,” Rosebush said. “If someone finds out that I worked for the Reagans and they were in in the military and the Secret Service, they tell me stories about how much they loved the Reagans.”


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