Transcript: Nancy Reagan | Apr 19, 2021

A CNN original series.

A clip shows president Ronald Reagan address the audience and say I BELIEVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
HAS A PLATFORM
THAT IS A BANNER OF BOLD,
UNMISTAKABLE COLORS,
WITH NO PALE PASTEL SHADES!

Reagan's wife Nancy stares at him as he gives his speech.

[CHEERING]

The narrator says THEY CALL IT "THE GAZE."
A LOOK OF ADORATION
SO COMPELLING,
EVEN THE CAMERAS
CAN'T BREAK AWAY.

Sally is in her seventies, with chin length straight gray hair and wears jeans, a white top and a blue cardigan sweater.

She says DO I REMEMBER
THE GAZE, YOU KNOW?
[LAUGHS]
YEAH, IT WAS A TALENT,
BECAUSE SHE LOOKED AT HIM
AS THOUGH HE WERE A GOD.

A woman says IT WAS
ALMOST HYPNOTIC, THAT GAZE.
[CHEERING, APPLAUSE]

Karen Tumulty is in her sixties, with straight brown hair in a bob cut and wears black trousers, a black top, and a purple jacket.

Karen says SHE JUST SAW IN HER HUSBAND
SOMEBODY
WHO SHOULD BE PRESIDENT.

Reagan says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Karen says HER HUSBAND'S GLORY
WAS GONNA BE THEIR GLORY.

The narrator says THE REAGANS WERE
THE FIRST SHOW-BUSINESS FAMILY
TO INHABIT THE WHITE HOUSE.
BUT NANCY WAS MORE THAN
JUST RONALD REAGAN'S CO-STAR.

Ron Reagan is in his early sixties, with short graying hair and wears blue trousers and a blue sweater.

Ron says SHE WANTED HIM
TO BE THE FRONT-MAN,
AND SHE WANTED TO BE
THE PRODUCER-DIRECTOR
BEHIND THE SCENES.

A reporter says HOW DO YOU FEEL
ABOUT THAT, MRS. REAGAN?

Nancy says I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING HE SAYS,
I ALWAYS DO. [LAUGHS]

Stuart is in his nineties, with short slightly wavy gray hair and wears gray trousers, a blue shirt, and a black blazer.

Stuart says HE WOULD'VE
NEVER BEEN ELECTED GOVERNOR
WITHOUT NANCY.
HE'D HAVE NEVER BEEN
ELECTED PRESIDENT WITHOUT NANCY.
THEY WERE A TEAM.
SHE GAVE HIM STRENGTH.
SHE GAVE HIM ENCOURAGEMENT.
SHE GAVE HIM HELL.

At an interview, Nancy says ARE YOU ASKING ME OR...?

The reporter says WELL, YOU FIRST.

Kati is in her sixties, with short straight light brown hair and wears black trousers, an eggshell white blouse and a turquoise blazer.

Kati says I CONSIDER NANCY
TO HAVE BEEN IN SOME WAYS
THE MOST POWERFUL,
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL,
THE MOST INDISPENSABLE PARTNER
IN THE MODERN PRESIDENCY.

Nancy says WHY DON'T YOU ASK HIM FIRST?

The reporter says YOU WANNA GET
YOUR STORIES STRAIGHT?

Nancy says YEAH.
[THEME MUSIC PLAYS]

A series of picture of American first ladies appear as the theme music plays.

The name of the show reads "First Ladies: Nancy Reagan. Narrated by Robin Wright."

An interviewer says WE'RE TALKING
TO MRS. RONALD REAGAN,
AND WE HAVE JUST
TWO MORE QUOTES HERE.
WOULD YOU BE A FORCEFUL
FIRST LADY, IN YOUR OPINION?

Nancy says OH, I...
DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU MEAN
BY FORCEFUL.

The narrator says IT'S 1980,
AND WITH HER HUSBAND RUNNING
FOR PRESIDENT,
NANCY REAGAN
IS IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

Nancy says I HAVE A FEELING
PRESIDENT CARTER
DOESN'T HAVE A FOREIGN POLICY.

The interviewer says "NANCY IS TOUGH,
MORE THAN AN ADORING WIFE."
WELL, I DON'T THINK I'M TOUGH.

The narrator says WHERE SOME SEE A GOOD
WIFE STANDING BY HER MAN...

A caption reads "Kenneth Duberstein. Chief of staff, Reagan Administration."

Kenneth is in his seventies, with short graying hair and wears a blue suit, white shirt and red tie.

He says SHE WAS ALWAYS PUSHING
TO MAKE SURE THAT HE SUCCEEDED,
AS ANY GOOD WIFE WOULD DO.

Reagan says WE CAN MAKE
AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

The narrator says OTHERS SEE HER
AS THE POWER BROKER
IN THE RELATIONSHIP.

An interviewer says ALL RIGHT, WE'LL GO ON.
"THE BRAINS BEHIND HER HUSBAND."
YOU'VE READ THAT?

Nancy says NO, NO. MY HUSBAND
IS THE BRAINS OF THE FAMILY.

The caption changes to "Karen Tumulty. Author and Journalist."

Karen says NANCY REAGAN
WAS SEEN AS A RETROGRADE,
TRADITIONAL FIGURE.
YET, IT IS HARD TO THINK
OF SOMEONE
WHO WAS JUST SO COMFORTABLE
WITH HER OWN POWER,
AND SO UNAFRAID TO USE IT.

Reagan says SPEAKING OF NANCY,
SHE'S BEEN THE FIRST LADY
IN MY LIFE FOR A LONG TIME.
[CHEERING]

The narrator says NANCY DAVIS
AND RONALD REAGAN
MET IN HOLLYWOOD IN 1949.
NANCY WAS AN AMBITIOUS
YOUNG ACTRESS.

The caption changes to "Bob Colacello. Biographer."

Bob is in his seventies, with short straight gray hair and wears glasses, a blue suit, a blue shirt and a blue tie.

He says NANCY ARRIVED IN HOLLYWOOD
DURING THE TIME
OF THE RED SCARE.
THERE WAS A LOT OF CONCERN
THAT THE COMMUNISTS
WERE INFILTRATING HOLLYWOOD.

Karen says SHE SEES THE NAME NANCY DAVIS
ON A LIST OF SUPPOSED
COMMUNIST SYMPATHIZERS.
I MEAN THIS...
THIS IS A CAREER KILLER.

Bob says SO SHE WENT
TO HER DIRECTOR, MERVYN LEROY,
AND HE SAID, "WELL, LOOK,
I'M GOING TO HAVE
MY GOOD FRIEND, RONNIE REAGAN,
THE PRESIDENT
OF THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD,
LOOK INTO THIS FOR YOU."

Karen says REAGAN SAYS,
"NO, IT'S ANOTHER NANCY DAVIS.
TELL HER NOT TO WORRY,
WE'LL STAND BEHIND HER."
BUT NANCY SAYS, "YOU NEED TO
ENGINEER A CHANCE FOR ME
TO MEET HIM FACE TO FACE."

The narrator says RONALD REAGAN,
TEN YEARS NANCY'S SENIOR,
WAS A WELL-KNOWN ACTOR
AND A STAUNCH ANTI-COMMUNIST.

The caption changes to "Ron Reagan. Son of Nancy Reagan."

Ron says I THINK THAT THE LIST
WAS REALLY A PRETEXT
TO GET TO KNOW RONALD REAGAN,
WHO WAS NOW A DIVORCEE.

Bob says THEY MAKE IT SOUND
AS IF THEY GOT MARRIED,
LIKE, A WEEK LATER.
BUT HE WAS STILL
PLAYING THE FIELD
AFTER HIS DISASTROUS DIVORCE
FROM JANE WYMAN.
IT WAS REALLY THREE YEARS LATER
BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY
TIED THE KNOT.

Karen says THEIR WEDDING
WAS ALSO HASTENED
BY THE FACT THAT SHE DISCOVERED
THAT SHE WAS PREGNANT.

The narrator says ON THAT SPRING DAY
IN 1952,
NANCY SET ASIDE
HER HOLLYWOOD DREAMS...
TO TAKE ON THE ROLE
OF MRS. RONALD REAGAN.

The caption changes to "Gahl Burt. White House Social Secretary."

Gahl is in her sixties, with short slightly wavy blond hair and wears black trousers, a black turtleneck sweater and a black blazer.

Gahl says THEY NEEDED EACH OTHER,
THEY MADE EACH OTHER POSSIBLE
AND THEY PLAYED ON THE WORLD
STAGE TOGETHER VERY WELL.

The caption changes to "January 20, 1981. Washington, DC."

Reagan says I, RONALD REAGAN,
DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL...

The narrator says ALMOST 30 YEARS LATER,
NANCY HOLDS THE BIBLE
AS HER HUSBAND IS SWORN IN.
IT'S THE FIRST INAUGURATION
TO BE HELD
ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE CAPITAL,
CLOSER TO CALIFORNIA.

Reagan says AND WILL
TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY.

Gahl says IT WAS VERY
GLAMOROUS, AND VERY HOLLYWOOD.

Bob says ALL THESE
SOCIAL PEOPLE IN THEIR FUR COATS
AND THEIR BIG JEWELRY,
I THINK SOMETHING
LIKE 700 CORPORATE
AND PRIVATE JETS LANDED
OVER THE WEEKEND.

Jim Kuhn is in his sixties, with short straight gray hair and wears a blue suit, a white shirt, and a deep purple tie.

Jim says SHE WANTED HIM
IN A MORNING SUIT.
AND THEN SHE WAS
IN A VERY EXPENSIVE DRESS.
SO, YEAH, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
A LITTLE OVERDONE.
BUT NANCY DID IT HER WAY.

The narrator says WATCHING THE NEW FIRST LADY,
SO COMFORTABLE AND ELEGANT
ON THE WORLD STAGE,
FEW WOULD IMAGINE JUST HOW FAR
SHE HAD TRAVELED TO GET HERE.

Bob says NANCY WAS BORN
IN 1921 IN FLUSHING, QUEENS.

Karen says HER MOTHER WAS
AN ACTRESS NAMED EDITH LUCKETT.
HER FATHER WAS KENNETH ROBBINS,
A SORT OF AIMLESS CAR SALESMAN.

Ron says THEY DIVORCED
WHEN SHE WAS QUITE SMALL.

Bob says AND THE MOTHER STRUGGLED
FOR TWO YEARS.
NANCY WOULD LITERALLY BE
IN A BASSINET BACKSTAGE.
AND, FINALLY, SHE REALIZED
THIS WASN'T WORKING.

Karen says SO, SHE LEAVES NANCY
WITH RELATIVES
IN BETHESDA, MARYLAND.
AND THUS BEGINS
A SIX-YEAR PERIOD
WHERE HER MOTHER
ESSENTIALLY ABANDONED HER.

Ron says THREE YEARS OLD
IS NOT THE AGE
WHEN YOU WANT TO SEE
YOUR MOTHER
DRIVING OFF TO THE BIG CITY
LEAVING YOU BEHIND.

The narrator says WHEN NANCY WAS EIGHT,
HER MOTHER SETTLED DOWN
AND MARRIED LOYAL DAVIS,
A DISTINGUISHED NEUROSURGEON.
NANCY JOINED THE COUPLE
IN CHICAGO.

Karen says THERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE,
SHE DOES GET A SENSE
OF SECURITY.

The narrator says SHE ALSO LEARNED
TO NAVIGATE THE SOCIAL ELITE.

Bob says NANCY'S MOTHER
LOVED SOCIAL LIFE.
SHE WOULD ORGANIZE A DINNER
PARTY WITH THE TOP DOCTORS,
THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO
WHO WAS ALWAYS A DEMOCRAT,
THE GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS,
WHO WAS ALWAYS A REPUBLICAN.

Karen says THIS COUPLE COMES OUT
OF NOWHERE
AND BECOMES A COUPLE
THAT EVERYONE IN CHICAGO
HAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO.

Bob says SHE ALWAYS SAID TO ME,
"A LOT OF THINGS HAPPEN
AT DINNER PARTIES, BOB."
THAT WAS THE LESSON THAT I THINK
SHE CARRIED TO WASHINGTON.

An announcer says LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
THE PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES AND MRS. REAGAN.
[APPLAUSE]

A newscaster says PRESIDENT REAGAN
AND FIRST LADY NANCY
MADE THE ROUNDS
IN WASHINGTON TONIGHT
AT A SERIES OF INAUGURAL BALLS.

At a ball, Reagan says THERE ARE TEN OF THESE.
[LAUGHTER]

Reagan says YOU'RE NUMBER SEVEN...
AND WE'RE GONNA GET
TO ALL OF THEM.
NO, NUMBER EIGHT!

[APPLAUSE]

The narrator says AFTER DANCING
THEIR WAY
THROUGH NINE VIP BALLS,
THE REAGANS FINALLY MAKE IT BACK
TO THEIR NEW HOME.
NANCY RECALLS THAT NIGHT
IN HER MEMOIR,
"AS I CLOSED MY EYES,
I REMEMBER THINKING,
MY LORD, HERE WE ARE,
SLEEPING IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
AND HERE I AM,
SLEEPING WITH THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.
BUT I FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY
THAT NOTHING,
NOTHING PREPARES YOU
FOR BEING FIRST LADY."

The narrator says THE REAGANS NOW LIVE
IN ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS HOMES
IN THE WORLD,
THEIR EVERY MOVE UNDER SCRUTINY.
FORTUNATELY, THIS IS SOMETHING
THEY'VE BOTH TRAINED FOR.

A black and white clip rolls.

Reagan says GOOD EVENING, I'M RONALD REAGAN
SPEAKING FOR GENERAL ELECTRIC.

The narrator says IN 1954,
TWO YEARS INTO THEIR MARRIAGE,
REAGAN SIGNED ON TO HOST
A NEW TV SHOW CALLED
GENERAL ELECTRIC THEATER.

Reagan says ONCE UPON
A TIME, THERE WAS A GIRL.
AND, OF COURSE, THERE WAS A BOY
WHO FELL IN LOVE WITH HER.

Ron says GENERAL ELECTRIC
BUILT THEM A HOUSE...

Reagan says YOU KNOW, NANCY.
WE'LL SEE PATTI LATER ON.

Nancy says HELLO.

Ron says WHICH WAS MEANT TO BE
THE SHOW HOUSE...
FOR GENERAL ELECTRIC APPLIANCES
AND LIGHTS AND EVERYTHING.
WE HAD MORE SWITCHES
AND GADGETS IN THAT HOUSE
THAT YOU COULD SHAKE A STICK AT,
MOST OF WHICH WE NEVER USED.

Nancy says WELL, IT'S TOO COMPLICATED
FOR ME.
BUT I DO KNOW THAT OUR HEAT PUMP
IS AMAZING AND WONDERFUL.

Ron says MY SISTER HAD MORE
OF THE GE COMMERCIALS.

Nancy says HERE'S ANOTHER ONE
YOU OUGHT TO KNOW.

Patti says WAFFLE IRON!

Ron says I GOT A LITTLE MORE OF THE
CREST TOOTHPASTE COMMERCIAL.

Nancy says COME AND MEET THE YOUNGER
MEMBERS OF THE REAGAN CLAN.

Patti says I'M PATTI.

Ron says I'M RONNIE REAGAN.

The narrator says NOW, THE REAGANS HAVE
A NEW FAMILY HOME.
BUT NANCY IS DISAPPOINTED
TO FIND
THAT IT NEEDS A LITTLE WORK.

Nancy says FLOORS AND DOORS
NEEDED REFINISHING,
THE PLUMBING SYSTEM
REQUIRED REPAIR...

The caption changes to "Sheila Tate. Press secretary, First Lady Nancy Reagan."

Sheila is in her seventies, with straight blond hair in a bob cut and wears a beige skirt suit.

She says THERE WAS A LOT OF MOLD
ON THE WALLS,
IN THE PRIVATE RESIDENCE.
SOME OF THE CURTAINS WERE ROTTED
THROUGH FROM THE SUN...

Jim says IT WAS SHAMEFUL.
CARTERS WOULDN'T SPEND ANY MONEY
ON IT.
AND SHE KNEW
HOW TO MAKE IT RIGHT.

The narrator says NANCY TURNS
TO PRIVATE DONORS,
SEEKING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
CONTRIBUTIONS
TO FIX UP THE WHITE HOUSE.

Jim says BUT SHE CAUGHT
A LOT OF FLAK FOR IT.

The caption changes to "Kati Marton. Author and Journalist."

Kati says NANCY TRIED TO BE
JACKIE KENNEDY
IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
AND THE '80S WERE NOT THE '60S.

Karen says NANCY REAGAN DID ALL OF THIS
AGAINST THE BACKDROP
OF A COUNTRY
THAT WAS PLUNGING
INTO A RECESSION.

A clip from a news show rolls.

The anchor says NAMES LIKE ANNENBERG,
SINATRA AND SASOL
ARE ON THE LIST OF DONORS.

The narrator says THE BIGGEST CHECKS
COME FROM PEOPLE NANCY HAS KNOWN
SINCE THE REAGANS
FIRST ENTERED POLITICS.

A black and white clip shows the Reagans socializing at a barbecue with a caption that reads "California, 1966."

Gahl says THEY WERE ALL FROM CALIFORNIA.
AND THEY WERE ALL HER FRIENDS.

Bob says SHE KNEW WHAT SHE WAS DOING!
THESE WOMEN ALL HAD HUSBANDS
WHO WERE NOT ONLY POWERFUL,
BUT CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS.

Karen says SHE'D BECOME
A QUEEN BEE OF THIS SET,
AND THAT BECOMES VERY IMPORTANT
WHEN HER HUSBAND STARTS
TO LAUNCH A POLITICAL CAREER.

At a speech, Reagan says YOU AND I HAVE
A RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY...

The narrator says NANCY'S NEW FRIENDS
WERE IMPRESSED
BY HER HUSBAND'S
POLITICAL VIEWS.
[APPLAUSE]

Karen says THEY COME TO REAGAN AND SAY,
"YOU'VE GOTTA RUN FOR GOVERNOR."

Reagan says VOTE FOR ME
IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT
TO CONTROL YOUR OWN DESTINY.

Bob says SHE WAS INVOLVED
IN EVERY CAMPAIGN MEETING
FROM THE FIRST,
AND STUART SPENCER SAID
SHE HAD, IN A WAY,
BETTER POLITICAL INSTINCTS
THAN HIM.

The caption changes to "Stuart Spencer. Advisor to president Reagan."

Stuart says HER MODUS OPERANDI WAS THIS:
WE DO A DAY OF CAMPAIGNING,
AND LET'S SAY EIGHT O'CLOCK
THE NEXT MORNING
SHE'D CALL HER FRIENDS, AND
SHE'D GET ALL THEIR FEEDBACK.
"YOU GOTTA DO THIS, NANCY,
YOU'VE GOTTA DO THAT."
"RONNIE'S GOTTA DO THIS
RONNIE'S GOTTA DO THAT."

Nancy says WOMEN HAVE MORE TIME
TO DEVOTE TO POLITICS.
OBVIOUSLY, THEIR HUSBANDS
ARE WORKING,
THEY HAVE MORE TIME...

Stuart says IN SOME WAYS,
I THINK SHE WANTED TO WIN
MORE THAN HE WANTED TO WIN.

The narrator says NANCY'S WORK PAID OFF.
THE HOLLYWOOD POWER COUPLE
BECOME GOVERNOR
AND FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA.

Kati says HE WAS NOT A GREAT ACTOR
BUT HE SURE BECAME A HELL
OF A POLITICIAN WITH HER HELP.

The narrator says TO SHOW HOW WELL
THEY'RE SETTLING
INTO WASHINGTON,
THE REAGANS TAKE A STROLL
ACROSS LAFAYETTE PARK.

Jim says I REMEMBER I HAD THE NEWS ON,
AND I THOUGHT, THIS IS GREAT,
THE REAGANS ARE GONNA GET OUT,
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE
IN A BUBBLE,
WE'RE OFF TO A GREAT START.
AND THEN LOW AND BEHOLD,
THE NEXT DAY...

A clip from the attempted assassination of Reagan rolls with the caption "March 30, 1981. Washington, DC."

A reporter says THERE'S THE PRESIDENT.
[GUN SHOTS]

The reporter says THERE'S THE SHOTS.

Sheila says WE WERE
AT THAT HOSPITAL
IN THREE MINUTES.
AND SHE WENT RACING
TOWARDS THE DOOR.

The narrator says IN HER MEMOIR, NANCY
RECALLS CONFUSION AND FEAR.
"I STAMMERED,
'WHERE? WHERE WAS HE HIT?'
'THEY DON'T KNOW,
THEY'RE LOOKING FOR THE BULLET.'
'LOOKING FOR THE BULLET?
I'VE GOT TO SEE HIM!' I SAID.
'WAIT. THEY'RE WORKING ON HIM.'"

Sheila says I WAS HOLDING HER HAND.
I KEPT SAYING,
"IT'S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT.
IT'S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT."
SHE WAS JUST LOST SOMEWHERE.
SHE WAS IN SHOCK, I GUESS.

Ron says THE SECRET SERVICE
CAME AND TOLD US
THAT SHOTS HAD BEEN FIRED.
GO UPSTAIRS, TURN ON THE TV,
AND THERE'S THE SCENE
BEING PLAYED OUT.

A news anchor says THE PRESIDENT HAS GONE
TO GEORGE WASHINGTON
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL,
AS HAS FIRST LADY NANCY REAGAN.

Ron says WE GOT IN A LEARJET
AND FLEW BACK TO DC
AND WENT RIGHT TO THE HOSPITAL.
NOBODY'S REALLY TELLING ANYBODY
ANYTHING.
SHE'S, OF COURSE, TERRIFIED
THAT SHE'S ABOUT
TO LOSE HER HUSBAND.
AND THEN THEY WHEEL HIM OUT...
AND HE LOOKED PRETTY GOOD
FOR A GUY
HAD JUST BEEN SHOT NEARLY
IN THE HEART.

A reporter says IN OUR TOP STORY,
PRESIDENT REAGAN'S TEMPERATURE
IS BACK TO NORMAL TODAY.
HE CONTINUES TO MAKE
SATISFACTORY PROGRESS
TOWARDS RECOVERY.

The narrator says THE PRESIDENT RECOVERS,
BUT THE SCARS WILL STAY
WITH NANCY FOR YEARS TO COME.

The caption changes to "Fred Ryan. Assistant to president Reagan."

Fred is in his sixties, with short wavy gray hair and wears a black suit, white shirt and purple tie.

Ryan says THE IMPACT OF THE SHOOTING
NEVER LEFT NANCY REAGAN.
HAVING SEEN HOW CLOSE
HE CAME TO DYING,
SHE WAS DETERMINED
SHE WAS NOT GOING
TO LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Sheila says IT THEN BECAME
A PROBLEM
WHENEVER HE WENT OUT.

David Gergen is in his seventies, with receding white hair, and wears a blue suit, a blue shirt, and a blue tie.

David says SOMEBODY
COULD COME OUT OF NOWHERE,
BULLETS COULD FLY
OUT OF NOWHERE.
WASHINGTON SEEMED
A DARKER PLACE.

Ron says THIS, OF COURSE,
LEADS TO THE FAMOUS,
YOU KNOW, ASTROLOGY BUSINESS,
WHICH I'M SURE YOU WOULD
HAVE GOTTEN TO, EVENTUALLY.
[TELEPHONE RINGS]

Ron says THIS ASTROLOGER CALLS HER UP
OR LETS HER KNOW THAT,
"WELL, I COULD
HAVE PREDICTED THIS.
I KNEW THAT
THAT WASN'T A GOOD DAY
FOR HIM TO BE OUT OF THE HOUSE."

Karen says IS THE PLANE
GOING TO TAKE OFF FOR EUROPE
AT 3:00 A.M. SUNDAY
OR 7:00 P.M. SATURDAY?
THOSE KINDS OF DECISIONS
WERE PUT TO THE ASTROLOGER.

Sheila says AND THE PROBLEM,
OF COURSE, WAS, IN RETROSPECT,
SHE WAS TELLING SOMEONE
WHO DIDN'T HAVE
SECURITY CLEARANCE
ABOUT HIS SCHEDULE.

Gahl says SHE WAS VERY SCARED.
AND SHE HAD SOME CRUTCHES
THAT SHE NEEDED.

The narrator says NANCY'S CONSULTATIONS
WITH HER ASTROLOGER
ARE KEPT SECRET FROM ALL
BUT HER INNERMOST CIRCLE.
THEY WOULD CONTINUE
FOR MANY YEARS.

Sheila says IN ALL THE TIME
I WORKED WITH HER
I NEVER EVER KNEW
ABOUT THE ASTROLOGER.
NONE OF US DID.

[TELEPHONES RINGING]

The narrator says BUT THE ASTROLOGER
WASN'T THE ONLY PERSON
NANCY WAS CALLING.

Gahl says I LEARNED EARLY ON THAT I NEEDED
TO KEEP HER INFORMED
ABOUT EVERYTHING,
BECAUSE SOMEHOW,
THROUGH HER NETWORK,
AND HER NETWORK WAS EXTENSIVE,
SHE WOULD HEAR.

[TELEPHONE RINGS]

Bob says SHE WAS
THE CLASSIC OLD-FASHIONED
ALMOST CORPORATE WIFE
WHO DID EVERYTHING
BEHIND THE SCENES.
AND THE TELEPHONE WAS HER
SORT OF WEAPON OF CHOICE.

Gahl says SHE ONCE JOKED TO ME
THAT SHE WANTED
TO BE BURIED WITH THE PHONE,
JUST IN CASE.

Jim says SHE DIDN'T GO DOWN
TO THE CABINET ROOM
AND SIT IN ON MEETINGS.
SHE DIDN'T GO
INTO THE OVAL OFFICE
AND TAKE PART IN A DIALOGUE.
BUT SHE WAS WATCHING FROM ABOVE.

Fred says SHE WOULD ASK QUESTIONS.
"WHAT HAPPENED HERE?
WHAT WENT WRONG HERE?
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THIS?"
SHE STEPPED UP WHEN SHE SAW
THAT THINGS WERE GOING
THE WRONG DIRECTION
FOR HER HUSBAND.

The caption changes to "David Gergen. Director of communications, Reagan administration."

David says AND IF YOU VALUED YOUR LIFE...

He scoffs and says YOU DIDN'T WANT NANCY REAGAN
COMING AFTER YOU WITH A HATCHET.
YOU MIGHT LOSE SOMETHING.

Bob says SHE, BASICALLY,
STARTED CALLING ME
ABOUT TWO THINGS.
ONE, TO DISCOURAGE RON
FROM GIVING UP
HIS SECRET SERVICE DETAIL,
'CAUSE SHE SAID GADDAFI
AND THE PUERTO RICAN
LIBERATION FRONT
WERE BOTH TRYING TO KIDNAP HIM.

Ron chuckles.

Bob says AND THE OTHER THING SHE WANTED
TO TALK ABOUT WAS,
"WHY DOES THE PRESS HATE ME
SO MUCH?"

The narrator says NANCY KNOWS HOW TO KEEP
THE PEOPLE AROUND HER HUSBAND
IN LINE,
BUT JOURNALISTS IN WASHINGTON
ARE A WHOLE OTHER BEAST.
DURING HER FIRST YEAR
IN THE WHITE HOUSE,
NANCY SEEMS TO BE
IN A CONSTANT BATTLE
WITH THE PRESS.

Ron says THEY WERE USED
TO GETTING ATTENTION,
HOLLYWOOD ATTENTION.
POLITICS, THOUGH, BRINGS
A DIFFERENT KIND OF ATTENTION,
AND A DIFFERENT KIND
OF SCRUTINY.

A news anchor says THE WHITE HOUSE DISCLOSED TODAY
THAT THE PRESIDENT'S WIFE
DOES NOT OWN
ALL OF HER CLOTHING.

Kenneth says I GOT A HEADS UP
THAT THE STORY WAS COMING,
AND I WALKED
DOWN THE OVAL OFFICE,
AND I EXPLAINED
TO THE PRESIDENT,
"YOU MIGHT WANNA
GIVE NANCY A HEADS UP."
THE PRESIDENT LOOKED AT ME
AND SAID,
"WHY DON'T YOU TELL HER?"

He laughs and says AND SHE WAS LIVID, AND I SAID,
"YOU HAVE TO GO
THROUGH YOUR WARDROBE,
AND PICK OUT SOME OF
THESE DRESSES, AND RETURN THEM."

A reporter says FOR THE INAUGURAL BALL,
MRS. REAGAN BORROWED,
AND STILL HAS NOT RETURNED,
MORE THAN 100,000 DOLLARS'
WORTH OF DIAMOND JEWELRY.

Karen says THERE ARE VERY STRICT
REGULATIONS
OVER REPORTING GIFTS.
AND NANCY REALLY DIDN'T FEEL
LIKE SHE ALWAYS HAD
TO FOLLOW THE RULES.

A reporter says THE CAMERA'S EYE FOCUSED
ON HER LAVISH REDECORATION
OF THE FAMILY LIVING QUARTERS
AND HER 209,000 DOLLAR
SET OF CHINA.

Jim says IT WAS, "NANCY'S GOTTA HAVE
THIS, NANCY'S GOTTA HAVE THAT,"
AND SHE TOOK A REAL BEATING.
SHE DID.

A newspaper article appears with a headline that reads "Nancy Reagan: the useless first lady."

Gahl says I WOULD GET
TO WORK IN THE MORNING
AND I WOULD READ
SOME DREADFUL PIECE
ON THE FRONT PAGE
OF THE NEW YORK TIMES
OR THE WASHINGTON POST
ABOUT MRS. REAGAN.
AND I WOULD BE ALMOST SICK
TO MY STOMACH.

Kati says THE PRESIDENT
AND THE FIRST LADY
GENERALLY DON'T BOTH
GET BAD PRESS SIMULTANEOUSLY.
THEY KIND OF TAKE TURNS.
AND NANCY REALLY
WAS THE LIGHTNING ROD.
AND THAT ENABLED RONNIE
TO PLAY THE DOTING
PROTECTIVE HUSBAND,
WHICH PLAYED WELL IN THE MEDIA.

A reporter says NO ONE WOULD SAY
HOW MANY ITEMS
MRS. REAGAN RECEIVED,
OR THEIR WORTH...

The narrator says IN HER MEMOIR,
NANCY ADMITS
THAT THE ATTACKS GOT TO HER:
"EVERYTHING I DID OR SAID
WAS INSTANTLY OPEN
TO CRITICISM."

A reporter says MINK COATS, LIMOUSINES,
THOUSAND-DOLLAR-A-PLATE CHINA
AT THE WHITE HOUSE...

The narrator says "MY CLOTHES, MY FRIENDS,
MY TASTE IN DECORATING,
THE WAY I LOOKED AT MY HUSBAND."

Reagan says LET'S SET THAT STRAIGHT
ONCE AND FOR ALL,
BECAUSE NANCY'S TAKEN
A BIT OF A BUM RAP.

The narrator says "THESE STORIES NOT ONLY HURT,
THEY ALSO MADE ME DAMN MAD."

A reporter says SHE WAS TURNING
INTO A POLITICAL LIABILITY.

The caption changes to "Sally Quinn. Author and journalist."

Sally says NANCY WAS NEVER
POPULAR WITH THE PRESS
BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T TRUST
THE PRESS.
SHE DIDN'T LIKE THE PRESS.
SHE WAS VERY CONTROLLED.
AND THAT'S NOT UNUSUAL
FOR SOMEONE FROM HOLLYWOOD.
THEY LEARN VERY EARLY ON
NOT TO SAY ANYTHING.

At a televised interview, the interviewer says YOU'RE REALLY HURT
BY SOME OF THE PRESS
THAT YOU'VE BEEN GETTING.
I MEAN, HURT.

Nancy smirks, nods, and says YES.

The interviewer says I GUESS WHAT YOU REALLY WANT
FOR CHRISTMAS
IS FOR THE PRESS
TO TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT YOU.

Nancy says THAT WOULD BE NICE. [CHUCKLES]

The narrator says TO TURN
THE TIDE OF HATRED,
NANCY TRIES A NEW TACTIC.

Sheila says SHE WAS SCHEDULED TO SPEAK
AT THE AL SMITH DINNER
BACK IN NEW YORK.

Nancy says THERE'S NOW
A PICTURE POSTCARD
OF ME AS A QUEEN.
NOW, THAT'S SILLY, BECAUSE
I'D NEVER WEAR A CROWN.
[LAUGHTER]

Nancy says IT MESSES UP YOUR HAIR!
[LOUDER LAUGHTER]

Sheila says AND THE ROOM WENT NUTS.
THEY JUST HAD A BALL.

Sally says SHE HAD SEEMED SO ICY
AND SO UNAPPROACHABLE.
THAT WAS A BRILLIANT MOVE.

Kari says IT DEMONSTRATED THAT SHE HAD
A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT HERSELF,
WHICH I DON'T THINK SHE DID.
BUT IT DID THE TRICK.

The narrator says NOW SHE NEEDS A CAUSE
TO GET BEHIND.

Sheila says I ASKED HER
WHAT SHE WAS INTERESTED IN
BEING INVOLVED IN,
AND SHE SAID,
"YOUTH DRUG ABUSE."
AND I REMEMBER
AT THE TIME THINKING,
"THAT'S A SORT OF A DOWNER,"
YOU KNOW. [LAUGHS]

At a public speech, Nancy says I'M SAYING THAT
IF YOU'RE A CASUAL DRUG USER,
YOU'RE AN ACCOMPLICE TO MURDER.

[APPLAUSE]

Ron says FOR THEM,
IT WAS A WAY
TO PUSH BACK AGAINST THE '60S.
FEMINISM, ROCK AND ROLL
AND SMOKING POT.
CLEARLY, SOMETHING
IS VERY WRONG HERE...
AND NEEDS TO BE PUT RIGHT.

Reagan looks at the camera and says TONIGHT, THERE'S SOMETHING
SPECIAL TO TALK ABOUT,
AND I'VE ASKED SOMEONE
VERY SPECIAL TO JOIN ME.
NANCY?

Nancy says THANK YOU.
TODAY, THERE'S A DRUG-
AND ALCOHOL-ABUSE EPIDEMIC
IN THIS COUNTRY,
AND NO ONE IS SAFE FROM IT,
BECAUSE IT'S AIMED
AT DESTROYING THE BRIGHTNESS
AND LIFE OF THE SONS
AND DAUGHTERS
OF THE UNITED STATES.

She addresses a group of addicts and says DID ALL OF YOU START FIRST
ON POT?

Most attendees raise their hands.

Nancy says THERE'S NO MORAL MIDDLE GROUND.

The reporter says SHE IS MAKING
DRUG ABUSE
HER PERSONAL CRUSADE.

Nancy says INDIFFERENCE IS NOT AN OPTION.

Mister T says WE'RE TELLING THE KIDS TO STAY
OFF DRUGS, STAY IN SCHOOL.

Nancy says SAY YES TO YOUR LIFE.

She addresses children and says WHAT SHOULD YOU DO
WHEN SOMEONE OFFERS YOU DRUGS?
AND WHEN IT COMES TO DRUGS
AND ALCOHOL...

Kids say JUST SAY NO!

Nancy says JUST SAY NO.

Sally says IT'S ALMOST LIKE SAYING,
"IF YOU REMAIN CELIBATE,
YOU WON'T GET
A VENEREAL DISEASE." [LAUGHS]
IT JUST SEEMED
A LITTLE BIT TOO SIMPLISTIC.

Ron says "JUST SAY NO."
AND THROW PEOPLE IN PRISON.

Nancy says WHAT A WASTE.
WHAT A WASTED LIFE.

Ron says THERE WAS, OF COURSE, THE IRONY
THAT HER TWO KIDS
CERTAINLY HAD SMOKED POT.
SO, NONE OF THAT WAS
PARTICULARLY POPULAR WITH ME.

Kati says THOUGH IT'S TRUE
THAT EVERY FIRST LADY
NEEDS TO HAVE A CAUSE,
IN MY VIEW, NANCY'S CHOSEN CAUSE
WAS HER HUSBAND.
[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICK]

At a press conference, Reagan says GOOD MORNING.

David says REAGAN HAD TO GO
OUT AND TALK TO THE PRESS
ABOUT SOMETHING
THAT WAS VERY, VERY DIFFICULT.
AND WE'D WORKED OUT WITH NANCY
TO GET A BIRTHDAY CAKE.
AND WHEN HE GOT TO A POINT,
WE'RE IN DEEP WATER,
LET'S GET HIM OUT OF HERE.

Reagan says WE'RE HOLDING IT
TO SEVEN PERCENT.

Nancy approaches him with the cake.

[CROWD SINGING "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"]

The caption changes to "February 4th, 1983. Washington, DC."

Reagan says AND TWO DAYS EARLY!
AREN'T THEY COMING FAST ENOUGH
WITHOUT MOVING IT UP?

Nancy says BLOW THE CANDLE OUT.
MAKE A WISH.

The narrator says TWO YEARS INTO HIS FIRST TERM,
THE QUESTION OF WHETHER
THE 72-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT
SHOULD RUN AGAIN
IS ON EVERYONE'S MIND.

A reporter says WELL,
MAYBE THIS WOULD BE A GOOD TIME
FOR YOU TO TELL HIM WHETHER
YOU THINK HE SHOULD RUN AGAIN?
[ALL LAUGH]

Nancy says OH, NO.

The narrator says NANCY,
THE PROTECTOR-IN-CHIEF,
WON'T SHOW HER HAND.

The reporter says YOU'RE NOT GETTING TOO OLD
TO RUN AGAIN, ARE YOU, SIR?

Nancy says HOW'D YOU LIKE A PIECE OF CAKE,
SAM?
[LAUGHTER]

Nancy says HUH? RIGHT IN THE...

Ron says SHE WAS WORRIED
ABOUT HIS PHYSICAL SAFETY.
HE WAS IN HIS MID-70S.
HE HAD BEEN SHOT
AND NEARLY KILLED.
I ASKED HIM NOT TO RUN.

Reagan says THAT ONE'S SMALLER. HERE,
TAKE MINE AND I'LL TRADE.

Nancy says NO, NO, NO, THAT'S BAD LUCK!

Fred says MY VIEW IS,
NANCY REAGAN
WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY HAPPY
TO GO HOME AFTER ONE TERM,
THINK BACK ON THEIR SUCCESSES
AND LOOK AHEAD TO THE FUTURE.

Reagan says I HAVE LEARNED NOT TO ARGUE
WITH HER SUPERSTITIONS.

Fred says BUT I THINK SHE ALSO REALIZED
THAT PRESIDENT REAGAN'S WORK
WAS NOT DONE.

Ron says OF COURSE, HE'S GONNA RUN.
AND HE'S GONNA WIN.
AND SHE'S NOT GOING TO TAKE THAT
AWAY FROM HIM.

The narrator says IT'S THE SUMMER
BEFORE THE 1984 ELECTION,
AND THE REAGANS
ARE ON VACATION AT THEIR RANCH.
A REPORTER ASKS THE PRESIDENT
ABOUT A POTENTIAL MEETING
WITH THE SOVIETS.

A reporter says "Is there anything you can do to get them to Vienna?"

Nancy mutters "We are doing everything we can."

Reagan says WE'RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN.

The reporter says THANK YOU.

Another reporter says AND IT TOOK
SOME PROMPTING
FROM WIFE NANCY FOR
THE PRESIDENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE...

Gahl says THAT WAS HER
BEING HIS PROTECTOR.
HIM STUMBLING
FOR THE RIGHT WORDS,
AND TAKING A PAUSE,
AND HER FEELING THAT THE PAUSE
WAS UNCOMFORTABLE.

The narrator says WITH THE ELECTION
IN FULL SWING,
THE PRESIDENT'S AGE
HAS BECOME A MAJOR ISSUE.

Sheila says HE WAS THE OLDEST PRESIDENT EVER
AT THAT POINT.

Gahl says HE WAS SLOWING DOWN
AND SHE WAS RIGHT BY HIS SIDE
TRYING TO, YOU KNOW,
KEEP IT ALL AFLOAT.
[APPLAUSE]

The narrator says PRESIDENT REAGAN'S CHALLENGER
IS FORMER VICE PRESIDENT,
WALTER MONDALE,
A RELATIVE YOUNGSTER AT 56.

The caption changes to "October 7th, 1984. First presidential debate."

Ron says FAMOUSLY, HIS FIRST DEBATE
WITH WALTER MONDALE
DID NOT GO WELL.

Reagan says TO TRY AND SAY
THAT WE WERE TAXING THE RICH
AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND...

Ron says HE SEEMED KIND OF OUT OF SORTS,
SLOW.

Reagan says THE SYSTEM IS STILL WHERE IT WAS
WITH REGARD TO...
UH...
THE...

Jim says HE STUMBLED AND HE FUMBLED.
AND THAT WAS BECAUSE
HIS DEBATE PREPARATION
WAS JUST TOO DETAIL-ORIENTED:
TOO MANY NUMBERS,
TOO MANY FACTS.

Stuart says HE DIDN'T DO HIS HOMEWORK.
DID NOT DO ANY OF HIS HOMEWORK.
SO, HE STUNK.

Jim says I THOUGHT, BOY,
I'M GLAD I'M NOT IN LOUISVILLE,
BECAUSE SOMEBODY'S GONNA
HAVE TO DEAL
WITH NANCY REAGAN TONIGHT.

Stuart says SHE WANTED
HEADS, SHE WANTED BODIES,
SHE WANTED IT ALL.

The narrator says NANCY DESCRIBES
HER REACTION IN HER MEMOIR.
[KNOCKS]
"THERE WAS NO WAY AROUND IT.
THE DEBATE WAS A NIGHTMARE.
'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
TO MY HUSBAND?'
I SAID TO MIKE DEAVER,
BACK AT THE HOTEL.
'WHATEVER IT WAS,
DON'T DO IT AGAIN.'"

Gahl says AS SHE WOULD SAY ALL THE TIME,
"YOU NEED TO LET RONNIE
BE RONNIE.
JUST LET RONNIE BE RONNIE.
HE KNOWS WHAT TO DO."

Fred says THE SECOND DEBATE CAME AROUND,
HE'D DONE SOME READING,
HE'D RESTED UP,
HE WALKED IN AND HE MASTERED IT.

The caption changes to "October 21st, 1984. 2nd presidential debate."

Reagan says I WILL NOT MAKE AGE
AN ISSUE OF THIS CAMPAIGN.
I AM NOT GOING TO EXPLOIT,
FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES,
MY OPPONENT'S YOUTH
AND INEXPERIENCE.

[LAUGHTER]

Ryan says AND AT THAT POINT,
THE DEBATE WAS OVER.
AND IN MANY WAYS,
THE ELECTION WAS OVER.

The narrator says REAGAN CARRIES
AN UNPRECEDENTED 49 STATES
IN THE '84 ELECTION...
[CHEERING]

The narrator says AND NANCY'S EYE TURNS
TOWARDS SECURING HIS LEGACY.

The crowd chants NANCY! NANCY!

Bob says IN 1997, I ASKED HER,
"WAS THERE SOME AREA THAT
YOU FELT YOU HAD AN EFFECT?"
AND SHE SAID, "OH, NO, NO,
RONNIE KNEW EXACTLY
WHAT HE WANTED TO DO
FROM THE MOMENT HE WAS ELECTED."
AND THEN SHE PAUSED
AND VERY, VERY SOFTLY ADDED,
"WELL, MAYBE
THE WHOLE RUSSIAN THING."
AND I WAS LIKE,
"THE WHOLE RUSSIAN THING?
YOU MEAN THE MAIN THING
OF HIS ADMINISTRATION?"

Reagan says WE WILL MEET
WITH THE SOVIETS,
HOPING THAT WE CAN AGREE...
ON A WAY TO RID THE WORLD
OF THE THREAT
OF NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION.

David says HE HAD A LOT
OF PEOPLE ON HIS RIGHT
SAYING ARMS CONTROL
IS ONLY FOR FOOLS,
DON'T GET INTO NEGOTIATION
WITH THE SOVIETS,
BECAUSE THEY WILL ALWAYS CHEAT
ON YOU.
SHE WAS MUCH MORE MAINSTREAM.
SHE DIDN'T WANT HER HUSBAND
GOING DOWN IN HISTORY
AS A MAN WHO BUILT
THIS HUGE NEW NUCLEAR ARSENAL
AND POSSIBLY TOUCHED OFF A WAR.

Bob says SHE BELIEVED
VERY MUCH IN REAGAN'S SLOGAN
OF PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH.
SHE JUST FELT THAT THEY HAD DONE
THE STRENGTH SIDE,
IT WAS TIME
TO DO THE PEACE SIDE.

The narrator says IN NOVEMBER 1985,
THE MOMENT FINALLY ARRIVES.
THE US AND SOVIET LEADERS
ARE TO MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME
SINCE THE START OF THE COLD WAR.

The caption changes to "November, 1985. Geneva, Switzerland."

Jim says REAGAN HAD HIS TEAM
ON HIS SIDE OF THE TABLE
AND GORBACHEV ON THE OTHER SIDE,
AND THAT'S FINE,
BUT NANCY KNEW THAT
THAT WASN'T ENOUGH.
SHE KNEW THAT RONNIE WAS GONNA
BE BEST ONE-ON-ONE
ALONE WITH GORBACHEV AS MUCH
AS SHE COULD GET HIM.
SO, SHE SAID, "HONEY,
WHAT YOU REALLY OUGHT TO DO
IS TAKE GORBACHEV FOR A WALK."

A reporter says PRESIDENT REAGAN
PROPOSED THE TWO LEADERS WALK
FROM THE 18TH-CENTURY VILLA
THEY WERE MEETING IN
TO A POOL HOUSE ON THE EDGE
OF LAKE LAMONT.

Jim says REAGAN AND GORBACHEV
DECIDED
THEY DIDN'T EVEN NEED TO GO
INTO THE GROUP MEETING
'CAUSE THEY HAD MADE
SO MUCH HEADWAY ALONE.

Fred says GENEVA WAS
AN INCREDIBLE BREAKTHROUGH,
ON THE POLICY BUT ALSO
ON THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP.
YOU COULD TELL THERE WAS
A CHEMISTRY
BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM
THAT BEGAN THAT DAY.

Jim says EVERYTHING HAPPENS THE WAY
NANCY REAGAN HAD PLANNED IT.
IT WAS A GREAT SUMMIT
AND SHE HAD HER FINGERPRINTS
ALL OVER IT.

The narrator says THE BOND FORGED
IN GENEVA WILL LEAD TO
A TREATY BANNING TWO ENTIRE
CLASSES OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
AND EFFECTIVELY ENDS
THE COLD WAR,
JUST THE LEGACY NANCY WAS AFTER.
BUT THIS DIPLOMATIC TRIUMPH
IS ABOUT TO BE ECLIPSED
BY A MAJOR SCANDAL.
IN NOVEMBER 1986,
A STORY BREAKS...

A reporter says MR. PRESIDENT, DO WE
HAVE A DEAL GOING WITH IRAN?

Reagan says NO COMMENT.

The narrator says THE US GOVERNMENT
HAS BEEN SELLING ARMS TO IRAN,
APPARENTLY IN EXCHANGE FOR THE
RELEASE OF AMERICAN HOSTAGES.

Pictures of hostages Reed, Anderson, Buckley, Tracy, Cicippio, and Sutherland appear on screen.

Jim says REAGAN NEVER FELT
IT WAS TRADING ARMS
FOR HOSTAGES.
IT WAS JUST,
"WE'LL SEND THESE ARMS,
AND, OH, BY THE WAY, IF WE GET
OUR HOSTAGES BACK SAME TIME,
WOULDN'T THAT BE GOOD?"

The reporter says THE PRESIDENT SAID
THAT NO LAW HAS BEEN
OR WILL BE VIOLATED.

The narrator says THEN, IT IS REVEALED
THAT MONEY FROM THE ARMS SALES
WAS USED ILLEGALLY
TO SEND WEAPONS
TO A RIGHT-WING REBEL GROUP
IN NICARAGUA.

Karen says THE REAGAN PRESIDENCY
WAS ON A DEATH WATCH.

Reagan says I DEEPLY BELIEVE
IN THE CORRECTNESS
OF MY DECISION.

Fred says NANCY REAGAN FELT
THAT THE PRESIDENT
HAD NOT BEEN SERVED WELL.

Jim says SHE TOOK IT THE HARDEST.
"ARE THEY GOING
TO IMPEACH MY HUSBAND?
IS THIS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE?"

Karen says THAT IS WHERE
YOU SEE NANCY REAGAN
SPRING INTO ACTION
TO RESCUE HER HUSBAND.

Jim says SHE KNEW THAT
A HEAD HAD TO ROLL,
IT WOULDN'T BE RONNIE'S,
AND SHE HAD TO GO AFTER SOMEBODY
AND THAT SOMEBODY WAS DON REGAN.

The narrator says DONALD REGAN HAD REPLACED
NANCY'S GOOD FRIEND JAMES BAKER
AS CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE START
OF THE SECOND TERM.
HE AND NANCY DID NOT GET ALONG.

Stuart says I HONESTLY
WAS TRYING TO HELP DONALD REGAN
BE A GOOD CHIEF OF STAFF.
YOU KNOW, LIKE,
LESSON NUMBER ONE:
HOW YOU HANDLE NANCY.
ANYONE THAT WASN'T
AN EGOMANIAC LIKE HE WAS
WOULD HAVE AT LEAST SAID, "WELL,
I BETTER LISTEN TO SOMETHING."

Fred says NANCY REAGAN
HAD A CERTAIN ANTENNA,
A CERTAIN RADAR.

Kati says IF SHE SNIFFED OUT
THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE
IN HIS CIRCLE
WHO WASN'T A THOUSAND PERCENT
LOYAL TO RONNIE,
THEY WERE TOAST.

Jim says SHE SAID,
"YOU KNOW, JIM,
WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO MAKE
A CHANGE HERE.
DON REGAN IS GONNA HAVE TO GO.
AND, YOU KNOW,
RONNIE CAN'T FIRE ANYBODY."

David says HE DID NOT LIKE
TO GET RID OF PEOPLE.
BUT SHE DID.
SHE HAD NO HESITATION
ABOUT THAT WHATSOEVER.

Gahl says IT DIDN'T GO WELL.

A reporter says THE FIRST LADY WAS ASKED
IF THE PRESIDENT HAD DEMANDED
SHE GET OFF HIS BACK
ABOUT FIRING DONALD REGAN.

The caption changes to "Representative Bill Richardson. D-New Mexico."

Bill says HOW CAN THE PRESIDENT DEAL
WITH THE SOVIETS,
IF HE CANNOT SETTLE A DISPUTE
BETWEEN HIS WIFE
AND THE CHIEF OF STAFF?

Gahl says SHE CALLED ME TEN TIMES
A DAY TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Jim says ONE DAY, DON REGAN
CAME DOWN TO MY OFFICE,
AND HE LOOKED AT ME AND HE SAID,
"I THINK I MADE A BIG MISTAKE."
AND I SAID,
"WELL, WHAT WAS THAT?"
HE SAID, "WELL," HE SAID,
"I WAS TALKING TO THE FIRST LADY
AND SHE WAS REALLY PUSHING ME,
AND I LOST MY COOL
AND I HUNG UP ON HER."
AND I SAID, "DON, YOU WHAT?"

Ron says YOU DON'T CROSS HER LIKE THAT,
BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY,
THE PRESIDENT GOES BACK
TO THE LIVING QUARTERS
AND GETS INTO BED
WITH THIS PERSON
YOU JUST HUNG UP ON, AND...

He laughs and says SHE GETS THE LAST WORD,
YOU KNOW.

A news anchor says CHRIS, WHAT'S
THE LATEST ON THE STRAIN
REPORTED BETWEEN MRS. REAGAN
AND WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF
DONALD REGAN?

Chris says WELL, TOM, A SOURCE
VERY CLOSE TO MRS. REAGAN...

Karen says CHRIS WALLACE IS
LEAVING THE WHITE HOUSE ONE DAY
AND NANCY REYNOLDS,
WHO'S CLOSE TO NANCY REAGAN,
COMES UP TO HIM AND TELLS HIM,
"DO YOU KNOW DON REGAN HUNG UP
ON THE FIRST LADY TODAY?"
KNOWING THAT CHRIS WALLACE,
THEN AT NBC,
IS GOING TO GO RIGHT ON THE AIR
THAT NIGHT IN THE NEWSCAST...
AND SAY THAT.

Chris says AND TWO SOURCES TELL ME
THAT THE CHIEF OF STAFF AGAIN
HUNG UP ON THE FIRST LADY.

Stuart says YOU DIDN'T HANG UP
ON RONALD REAGAN'S WOMEN.
THAT IS A BAD MISTAKE.

Ron says THAT WAS CURTAINS FOR DON REGAN.

A reporter says AFTER CLINGING
TENACIOUSLY
TO HIS JOB FOR MONTHS,
DONALD REGAN FINALLY BOWED
TO INTENSE PRESSURE...

The narrator says REGAN IS OUT.
BUT A YEAR LATER,
HE GETS HIS REVENGE.
REGAN REVEALS NANCY'S
BEST KEPT SECRET:
THE ASTROLOGER SHE'S HAD
ON HER PAYROLL
SINCE THE SHOOTING.

Sheila says SO I CALLED
THE PRESS OFFICE RIGHT AWAY
AND I SAID, "WHAT'S GOING ON?"
AND SHE SAID,
"WE THINK IT'S A ONE-DAY STORY."
I SAID, "ARE YOU OUT
OF YOUR MIND?" [LAUGHS]

A reporter says REAGAN WAS ASKED
IF HE STILL ALLOWS ASTROLOGY
TO PLAY A PART IN THE MAKE-UP
OF HIS SCHEDULE.

Reagan says I CAN'T, BECAUSE I NEVER DID!

The narrator says THE PRESIDENT'S
APPROVAL RATINGS
ARE SINKING, FAST.

A reporter says HIS OVERALL
APPROVAL RATING
HAS DOWN 17 POINTS
IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS.

The narrator says NANCY BELIEVES THAT
TO WIN THE COUNTRY BACK,
HER HUSBAND MUST APOLOGIZE
FOR IRAN CONTRA.

Karen says HE IS RESISTING
ADMITTING THE OBVIOUS,
WHICH IS THAT
HE HAS BEEN TRADING ARMS
FOR HOSTAGES.
SHE KNEW SHE HAD
TO GET HIM TO THIS PLACE
WHERE HE COULD SAY
WHAT HE NEEDED
TO SAY TO RESCUE HIS PRESIDENCY.

Kenneth says SO MANY PEOPLE WALK
INTO THE OVAL OFFICE
AND TELL THE PRESIDENT
WHAT HE WANTS TO KNOW,
NOT WHAT HE NEEDS TO KNOW.
YOU HAVE VERY FEW PEOPLE
WHO ARE WILLING
TO BE THE REALITY THERAPIST.
AND NANCY WAS WILLING
TO DO THAT.

The caption changes to "March 4th, 1987. Washington, DC."

Reagan says A FEW MONTHS AGO
I TOLD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
I DID NOT TRADE ARMS
FOR HOSTAGES.
MY HEART AND MY BEST INTENTIONS
STILL TELL ME THAT'S TRUE,
BUT THE FACTS AND THE EVIDENCE
TELL ME IT IS NOT.

Karen says HE GIVES THE SPEECH,
HE GIVES IT
THE WAY NANCY WANTS IT.

Reagan says YOU TAKE YOUR KNOCKS,
YOU LEARN YOUR LESSONS,
AND THEN YOU MOVE ON.

Kenneth says AND ALL OF A SUDDEN,
YOU SAW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
GOING...

He claps and says "THAT'S OUR PRESIDENT."

Karen says AND HIS APPROVAL RATINGS
JUST SKYROCKET OVERNIGHT.

The narrator says THE NATION'S FAITH
IN PRESIDENT REAGAN IS RESTORED.
IT'S BEEN A DIFFICULT TERM
FOR NANCY,
AND SHE HAS ONE YEAR LEFT
TO BRING THE SHOW
TO A ROUSING FINALE.

Nancy says I'VE BEEN AWFULLY BUSY
WITH ARMS CONTROL
AND... THE INF TREATY,

[LAUGHTER]

Nancy says THE RUSSIANS...

Kati says I ACTUALLY COVERED
THEIR 1988 VISIT TO MOSCOW.
THERE WAS A SENSE OF HOPE
THAT THAT HAD BEEN MISSING
SINCE
THE SECOND WORLD WAR ENDED.
[APPLAUSE]

The narrator says IN MOSCOW,
THE TWO LEADERS
FINALIZE THEIR NUCLEAR TREATY.
BUT THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP
IS A DRAMATIC PIECE
OF STREET THEATER,
ORCHESTRATED BY NANCY.

The caption changes to "6 months earlier."

Kenneth says WHEN WE INVITED GORBACHEV
TO WASHINGTON,
HE STIRRED EVERYBODY BY WALKING
DOWN CONNECTICUT AVENUE
TO THRONGS OF PEOPLE.

A man on the crowd extends his hand towards Gorbachev and says I WANNA SAY HELLO TO YOU.

Jim says IT WAS GREAT FOOTAGE,
THE SOVIETS JUST TOOK THE SHOW
THAT DAY.

A woman on the street says THE GUY IS A PR GENIUS.

Jim says NANCY VOWED THEN
THAT WHEN WE GO TO MOSCOW,
WE WERE GOING TO EVEN
THE SCORE AGAIN.

The narrator says ONCE IN MOSCOW,
NANCY REVEALS HER PLAN.

Kenneth says WHEN WE GOT TO SPASO HOUSE,
THE AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE,
NANCY AND I SHARED
WITH THE PRESIDENT AN IDEA.
AND HIS ANSWER WAS,
"IT SOUNDS GOOD TO ME,
BUT LET'S RUN IT PAST
THE SECRET SERVICE,"
AND THE SECRET SERVICE SAID,
"ABSOLUTELY NOT."

Jim says SO, I WENT
TO THE PRESIDENT
AND MRS. REAGAN IN THE BEDROOM.
NANCY IS LYING ON THE BED...
WITH HER FEET ON THE PILLOWS
PROPPED UP.
REAGAN'S WALKING
AROUND THE BEDROOM.
SECRET SERVICE,
THEY'RE MAKING THEIR CASE.
AND I SAID, "ARE YOU SAYING
THAT IF THE REAGANS GO
WHERE WE WANNA GO,
THAT YOU CANNOT PROTECT THEM?"
AND THE LEAD PERSON SAID, "NO,
THAT'S NOT WHAT THEY'RE SAYING."
AND NANCY SAT UP, SAID,
"FINE, LET'S GO."
WE WENT TO THIS PLACE CALLED
THE ARBAT,
A LITTLE SHOPPING AREA.
AND ALL OF A SUDDEN,
THE ARBAT WAS FULL OF PEOPLE.
APPLAUDING, CHEERING.

Jim says THEY ALL WANTED TO TOUCH HIM,
THEY ALL WANTED TO SEE HIM.

A man in the crowd says DO NOT PUSH THESE PEOPLE.
DO NOT PUSH THESE PEOPLE!

Kenneth says THE KGB
WAS NERVOUS AS ALL GET OUT.

Jim says NANCY SPOTTED
SOME OLD CARRIAGE
THAT WAS SITTING THERE,
AND SHE GRABBED REAGAN'S HAND
AND PULLED HIM UP
ONTO THE CARRIAGE.

Kati says AFTER DECADES
OF THIS FROZEN RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THESE TWO
ARMED-TO-THE-TEETH SUPERPOWERS,
TO SEE THIS AMERICAN PRESIDENT,
ARMS HELD OUT
FOR THE POOR SOVIET PEOPLE,
WHO'VE NEVER BEEN ANYWHERE
NEAR AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT,
MUCH LESS ONE
THAT LOOKED LIKE RONALD REAGAN,
IT MADE THE COLD WAR
SEEM LIKE ANCIENT HISTORY.

A man says ONE MORE TIME.

Jim says AND WE GOT OUR PHOTOS,
WE GOT OUR FOOTAGE.
NANCY JUST TOOK OVER
AND I THOUGHT, WOW,
SHE NEVER CEASES TO IMPRESS ME.

The reporter says ARE YOU ANXIOUS
TO GET AWAY FROM WASHINGTON
AND PUT ALL THIS BEHIND YOU?

Nancy says SOME THINGS
I'LL BE GLAD TO GET RID OF.
[LAUGHTER]

The caption changes to "December 12th, 1988. Washington, DC."

Nancy says I'LL MISS...
I REALLY WILL MISS YOU.

Sam Donaldson says WELL, WE'LL MISS YOU.

Nancy says WELL, I THOUGHT
YOU'D NEVER SAY IT, SAM!
[LAUGHTER]

Nancy says MY GOSH.

The narrator says AND JUST LIKE THAT,
EIGHT YEARS ARE OVER.
THE REAGANS LEAVE
THE WHITE HOUSE FLYING HIGH.
THE OLDEST US PRESIDENT
HAS SURVIVED
AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
AND A MAJOR SCANDAL.
HE WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY
AS A PEACEMAKER,
ALL UNDER THE VIGILANT EYE
OF THE FIRST LADY.

Kenneth says ON THE LAST TRIP
OF THE ADMINISTRATION,
BACK HOME TO CALIFORNIA,
ON THE FLOOR OF AIR FORCE ONE:
SAM DONALDSON, LOU CANNON,
BILL PLANTE OF CBS,
WERE ALL THREE COLLABORATING
TO WRITE...
THE LAST FULL REPORT
OF THE REAGAN YEARS.
AND WHO IS OVERSEEING IT,
LOOKING DOWN AS THEY WERE
TYPING ON THE FLOOR?
NOT THE PRESIDENT, NANCY!

Ron says IT'S BEEN EIGHT YEARS,
IT'S BEEN A BIG CHUNK
OF YOUR LIFE
THAT YOU'VE BEEN
THE FIRST COUPLE...
IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
ALL THIS IMPORTANT STUFF
SWIRLING AROUND YOU EVERY DAY.
AND NOW THAT'S GOING TO GO AWAY.
AND YOU WILL LEAVE THE STAGE.
SHE SAID, "WE THOUGHT
WE'D HAVE OUR GOLDEN YEARS,"
AND WE WOULD REMINISCE
ABOUT, YOU KNOW, OUR LIVES.

He chokes and says SORRY.
SO THEN, THEY LEAVE,
AND WITHIN FOUR...
YEAH, FOUR YEARS OR SO,
HE'S BEEN DIAGNOSED
WITH ALZHEIMER'S,
AND HE NOW HAS DEMENTIA,
YOU KNOW.
THAT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT
PHASE OF THEIR LIFE, OF COURSE.
NOW SHE'S NOT GOING
TO BE "FANCY NANCY" ANYMORE,
SHE'S GOING TO BE
THIS NEW CHARACTER.
AND SO THAT JUST CONTINUED...
THROUGH THE REST OF HER LIFE.

The narrator says WHEN NANCY REAGAN
DIED ON MARCH 6, 2016,
TRIBUTES CAME FROM ALL CORNERS.
HER SUPPORT FOR HER HUSBAND
THROUGH HIS ILLNESS
AND HER WORK
TO LEGALIZE STEM CELL RESEARCH
HAD SOFTENED HER IMAGE.
BUT HER GREATEST LEGACY
REMAINS...
THE PROTECTIVE POWER SHE WIELDED
FOR EIGHT YEARS
AS A FORMIDABLE FIRST LADY.

Ron says WHEN I THINK OF HER,
I OFTEN THINK OF HER
AS A CHILD, AND FRIGHTENED.
SHE COULD BE FIERCE
WHEN SHE WANTED TO BE.
BUT, YEAH, I THINK...
THERE WAS STILL
A LITTLE THREE-YEAR-OLD GIRL...
WHOSE MOTHER WAS GOING AWAY.
PEOPLE WHO ARE FRIGHTENED
AND GO AHEAD ANYWAY,
THAT'S A CERTAIN KIND
OF COURAGE, TOO.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Copyright 2020, Cable News Network, Incorporated.

All rights reserved.

Logo: October.

Logo: Fremantle.

Watch: Nancy Reagan