Nancy Reagan made things difficult at times with her stubbornness. Nancy's importance to her husband "goes with the turf when you're dealing with the Reagans," says advisor Stuart K. Spencer.
Narrator: In early 1987, the White House grappled with how to extricate Reagan from the worst crisis of his presidency. Don Regan wanted to get the President on the road -- to work his charm on the public. But Reagan was recovering from another serious operation -- this time on his prostate. Nancy wanted him to stay put. And that wasn't all. Nancy's astrologer feared "the malevolent movements of Uranus and Saturn." The alignment of the planets, it seemed, raised the danger of impeachment and assassination.
Donald T. Regan, Chief of Staff: And in the middle of all this turmoil she was incessantly calling me. One day I got home late from the office. No dinner. It was after nine o'clock. I was just starting to eat when she called and was on the phone 15 or 20 minutes and we were getting nowhere about she telling me that I had to do something, and I saying Nancy I got to either get the President out or something of that nature. He's gonna have to be the key here. None of us can solve this for him. We went back and forth and back and forth and finally I was just so disgusted I hung up.
Stuart Spencer, Senior Political Adviser: It goes with the turf if you're dealing with the Reagans. I mean I knew that back in '65, '66. And Don Regan for some reason, took the point of view that Nancy Reagan wasn't important. That was wrong.
My American Experience
Who was your favorite 20th-century American president? Was it FDR? Kennedy? Reagan? Or one of the other 14 men who helped usher the United Sates through the 1900s? Who do you think was the most influential?