Reagan’s Condition Worsens

AP — Reagan’s Children Gather at His Bedside

Ronald Reagan’s children gathered at his bedside Saturday as word reached the White House that the health of the 93-year-old former president had seriously deteriorated.

White House officials who checked on the former president’s health Friday were told “the time is getting close,” a person familiar with Reagan’s health, who did not want to be identified, told The Associated Press. “It could be weeks. It could be months.”

The Reagan family’s chief of staff, Joanne Drake, said his children from his marriage to Nancy, Patti Davis and Ron, were at the Reagan home in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles.

“This is it,” Nancy Reagan told CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace.

“I said is it conceivable that it could happen this weekend? She said, yes, yes,” Wallace told CBS radio.

Reagan, who has lived longer than any other U.S. president, has been out of the public eye since disclosing a decade ago that he had Alzheimer’s disease.

“He’s 93 years old. He’s had Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. There are plenty of rumors. When there is something significant to report I will do so,” Drake said.

Certainly a shame. Reagan is the first president that I was old enough to vote for (his re-election in 1984 was a few days before my 19th birthday) and his presidency was the formative period in my political consciousness. I graduated high school and college under Reagan and he was briefly my commander in chief.

I’ll certainly miss him when he’s gone, although the sad nature of his demise has kept him out of the public consciousness for a long time. It has been some time since he even had the ability to recognize his family. His passing will be somewhat bittersweet because of that.

FILED UNDER: US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I also came to adulthood during Reagan’s tenure. But it’s always really bothered me when Republicans throw his name around: This is what Reagan would have done. This guy’s like Reagan. Etc. I predict that I will be even more annoyed if he passes during this election cycle, as the charlatans and sycophants in the Republican party (ie, the entire party) inevitably use his name for their personal gain.

  2. Attila Girl says:

    I think George W. Bush has very quietly, without ever saying so, adopted him as his role model for the presidency more than his own father.

  3. Mary Morris says:

    In my freshman year of college and Univ. of Tenn., Mr. REagan gave a campaign speech. After his speech, he asked the band to line up.(after playing “Stars and Stripes Forever about 50 times,we thought he’d request “Hail to the Chief. I was amazed when he asked us to line up so he could shake our hands, ask names, home towns,ect. Teens couldn’t vote that year so I came back to the dorm, amazed that he would take that time out for us when he could have spent much more time with the voters. I went right out and joined the Young Republican’s Comm. When I heard the sad news yesterday, all I could think of is “He’s going to add to the brightness of the “city on the hill.” Thank you for letting him share his life with us. We’ll always
    be proud of him and proud of you and the family.
    Keep your collective chins up. God bless all of
    you. May his great soul rest in peace in God.

  4. Mary Morris says:

    In my freshman year of college and Univ. of Tenn., Mr. REagan gave a campaign speech. After his speech, he asked the band to line up.(after playing “Stars and Stripes Forever about 50 times,we thought he’d request “Hail to the Chief. I was amazed when he asked us to line up so he could shake our hands, ask names, home towns,ect. Teens couldn’t vote that year so I came back to the dorm, amazed that he would take that time out for us when he could have spent much more time with the voters. I went right out and joined the Young Republican’s Comm. When I heard the sad news yesterday, all I could think of is “He’s going to add to the brightness of the “city on the hill.” Thank you for letting him share his life with us. We’ll always
    be proud of him and proud of you and the family.
    Keep your collective chins up. God bless all of
    you. May his great soul rest in peace in God. Please know that you are in our love and prayers.

  5. Mary Morris says:

    In my freshman year of college and Univ. of Tenn., Mr. REagan gave a campaign speech. After his speech, he asked the band to line up.(after playing “Stars and Stripes Forever about 50 times,we thought he’d request “Hail to the Chief. I was amazed when he asked us to line up so he could shake our hands, ask names, home towns,ect. Teens couldn’t vote that year so I came back to the dorm, amazed that he would take that time out for us when he could have spent much more time with the voters. I went right out and joined the Young Republican’s Comm. When I heard the sad news yesterday, all I could think of is “He’s going to go to the brightness of the “city on the hill.” Thank you for letting him share his life with us. We’ll always
    be proud of him and proud of you and the family.
    Keep your collective chins up. God bless all of
    you. May his great soul rest in peace in God. Please know that you are in our love and prayers.

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