In celebration of what would have been Nancy Reagan’s 100th birthday, Fox News’ Chris Wallace recounts the glamorous and controversial life of the former first lady — from her childhood as a backstage baby, to her own Hollywood career, to her marriage to Ronald Reagan and her long run as the consummate political spouse and guardian of the Reagan legacy.
“One of the treasures of my long career…was that I spent six years covering the Reagans,” Wallace told co-host Pete Hegseth. “I really would say that she [Nancy] was a partner in power.”
“She really played a big role in the Reagan presidency. She didn’t get tremendously involved in policy, but she got very involved in personnel. And as anybody who’s covered politics knows, personnel is policy,” Wallace asserted.
“So she was one of the key players in naming James Baker, the first White House Chief of Staff. She was very supportive of George Shultz as the Secretary of State. And I think there’s no question that she played a role in the negotiations and the successful treaties that were concluded between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to limit the number of missiles fired at each other at the height of the Cold War.”
“How was she treated as a first lady?” asked Hegseth, noting current First Lady Jill Biden making headlines as the recent cover of Vogue.
Wallace responded by underscoring Nancy’s early-on controversy: “She was treated pretty well as a first lady in terms of coverage, but she had some bumps. That’s one of the things that makes her story so interesting, because for the first couple of years, she got bashed. She got coverage, but it was negative coverage, and I think she would say that she played a part in that.”
“But as time went on, she got Washington, got what was expected of her, and not only in terms of influencing the president, but [she] became very involved in the Just Say No anti-drug movement, and became a very admired figure in this country in her own right.”
“It’s a very interesting story,” concluded Wallace. “A rocky start as first lady, and then a very successful ending to her time.”
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