Source of book image: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060957573/ref=ed_oe_p/104-5180402-9681554?%5Fencoding=UTF8
Michael Deaver, longtime aide to Ronald Reagan, has written an interesting memoir that documents that in most important respects, Reagan was his own boss, worked hard, and had a focused intellect.
He also documents what most grant: Reagan was a great communicator. One element in his success as a communicator is illustrated below:
(p. 71) . . . he would often recount a fictitious yarn of a sobbing bureaucrat he encountered at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The man was at his desk, crying into his folded arms when Reagan touched him on the shoulder and asked him what was wrong. "My Indian died, that’s what’s wrong," came the response. "What the hell am I supposed to do now?"
The citation for Deaver’s book is:
Deaver, Michael K. A Different Drummer: My Thirty Years with Ronald Reagan. Reprint ed: Harper Paperbacks, 2003.
Schumpeter distinguished the static picture of capitalism in the textbook model, with the dynamic reality captured in the process of creative destruction. Apparently Ronald Reagan also understood that a dynamic view is better than a static snapshot. Michael Deaver recounts:
(p. 75) . . . I told him that I noticed his aversion to sitting for photo shoots. He looked at me surprised. "That’s funny, in all these years, nobody’s ever noticed that." I asked him to elaborate. "Well, you can never recover from a still shot."
Reagan was most comfortable with moving film, he went on to say. He truly believed the television camera was a friend, a device that would separate the real from the phony. Still cameras could always be used to make a candidate look like a fool. When he explained this to me in the (p. 76) late 1960s, he said, "You know how I sometimes touch my nose before I make a point? Well, a still shot would show me picking my nose, while a live shot would show me making my point."
Deaver, Michael K. A Different Drummer: My Thirty Years with Ronald Reagan. Reprint ed. Harper Paperbacks, 2003.
Twenty-five years ago today, President Ronald Reagan was shot. Sometimes they say that you only know a person’s character when they are sorely tested. Well, when Ronald Reagan was sorely tested, he engaged in his usual optimistic, self-deprecating banter with those around him. ‘Sorry, honey, I forgot to duck’ he said to Nancy; and ‘I sure hope you’re a Republican’ to the surgeon.
By his manner, the great communicator communicated that random acts of violence are not what is important in life.
What I remember most from the first couple of days after the shooting was a
packed news conference with Reagan’s doctors at the hospital. I remember
an Hispanic reporter, in broken English, praising Reagan’s joking and then
asking Reagan’s doctor, ‘Is he not a manly man?’ The doctor looked
puzzled, and without commenting on the question, moved on. But I thought
it was a good question—with an obvious answer.