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Between Him and the Kids ( Passing up the perfect photo-op) Reagan
National Review ^ | February 06, 2004, 9:20 a.m | Peter Robinson

Posted on 02/06/2004 8:06:27 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs

EDITOR'S NOTE: This vignette is excerpted from How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life.

The incident I always considered the best illustration of Reagan's regard for ordinary individuals took place in a North Carolina parking lot. "It was during the 1976 primary fight," says Dana Rohrabacher, who then worked on the Reagan campaign as an assistant press secretary. "We were getting ready for a rally in this gigantic parking lot at a shopping mall. I was in the staging area behind the podium, and a lady called me over to the side and said, 'I've got a group of blind kids here. Since they can't see him, I was wondering if you could have Governor Reagan come over and tell them hello.'"

Dana passed the request on to Mike Deaver, and Reagan, who was standing nearby, overheard. "He said he'd do it, but he didn't want any photographers," Dana explains. "Can you imagine that? He was in the middle of a presidential campaign, and the press would have gone wild for a photo of him with a group of blind kids. But Reagan wanted this to be between him and the kids."

Deaver came up with a plan. When the speech ended, Deaver told Dana, he'd begin walking Reagan back to the campaign bus. Concluding that the candidate was about to leave for the next event, all the reporters and photographers would hurry back to their own buses. And then, when the press had cleared out, Deaver would double back with Reagan, returning the candidate to the area behind the podium, where Reagan would meet the blind children.

"It worked," Dana says. "The press guys all went back to their buses, and I brought the lady with the blind kids back behind the podium. There were six or seven kids, real sweet little kids about eight or nine or ten years old. Since there was a lot of background noise — Reagan bent down, close to the kids, to talk to them. But somehow I could see him thinking that that wasn't enough. So after the kids had asked him a couple of questions, he said, 'Well, now I have a question for you. Would you like to touch my face so you can get a better understanding of how I look?' The kids all smiled and said yes, so Reagan just leaned over into them, and one by one these little kids began moving their fingers over his face to see what he looked like.

"The only picture of that scene is the picture in my mind," Dana says. "But I can still see those kids, touching Ronald Reagan's face and smiling these really big smiles."

"The Declaration of Independence," G. K. Chesterton writes, "dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; it is right [to do so].... There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." Although in nearly every way you could ever imagine, in other words, we humans are not equal but unequal — some rich and some poor, some bright and some dull, some healthy and some sick — in one way we enjoy perfect equality all the same. Did the 40th chief executive ever read Chesterton? I can't say. Yet Ronald Reagan demonstrated an implicit belief in the sacred and equal importance of all men as children of God.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: happybirthday; reagan
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1 posted on 02/06/2004 8:06:28 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Great post
2 posted on 02/06/2004 8:09:51 AM PST by Aggie Mama
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
God bless Reagan on his 93rd birthday.
3 posted on 02/06/2004 8:10:46 AM PST by Always Right
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
So after the kids had asked him a couple of questions, he said, 'Well, now I have a question for you. Would you like to touch my face so you can get a better understanding of how I look?' The kids all smiled and said yes, so Reagan just leaned over into them, and one by one these little kids began moving their fingers over his face to see what he looked like.

"The only picture of that scene is the picture in my mind," Dana says. "But I can still see those kids, touching Ronald Reagan's face and smiling these really big smiles."

BUMP

4 posted on 02/06/2004 8:13:03 AM PST by eyespysomething (Another American optimist!)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
One of a kind.
5 posted on 02/06/2004 8:15:22 AM PST by GraniteStateConservative ("You can dip a pecan in gold, but it's still a pecan"-- Deep Thoughts by JC Watts)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Can you imagine a Clinton doing the same? Passing up a photo-op with blind children? Ha! ha! ha!

"Wait just a minute with that camera....Who's got some visine I can fill up my eyes with?"
6 posted on 02/06/2004 8:17:19 AM PST by JustPlainJoe
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Happy Birthday Mr. Reagan.
7 posted on 02/06/2004 8:18:33 AM PST by Cyber Ninja (Wardrobe malfunction I should have thought of that.)
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To: GraniteStateConservative
"One of a kind"

Truly. It's so sad that he has had to spend so much of his post-Presidency incapacitated. Sad for him and sad for us.
8 posted on 02/06/2004 8:20:34 AM PST by raptor29
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
These kinds of stories about Reagan never surprise me. I especially enjoy the one about a woman who had written to Reagan about her financial hardships. He in turn sent her a check, but she never cashed it.... she framed it. Well, he never got the cancelled check back from the bank, so he called her up and asked her why she never cashed the check. She said people wouldn't believe her if she told them that President Reagan had sent her a check, and that's why she didn't cash it, but instead she framed it. He told her to keep that check in the frame and that he would send her another one....but this time, she had to cash the check.

Does anyone else have any stories about Reagan?
9 posted on 02/06/2004 8:23:02 AM PST by Arpege92
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Happy Birthday BUMP
10 posted on 02/06/2004 8:25:06 AM PST by hoosiermama (Ask Kerry to list the major pieces of enacted legislation he has authored in his career.)
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To: AdSimp; Corin Stormhands; Flora McDonald; iceskater; Mia T; Mudboy Slim; putupon; sultan88; ...
fyi
11 posted on 02/06/2004 8:26:59 AM PST by jla
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
May God bless Ronald Wilson Reagan, a truly great man.
12 posted on 02/06/2004 8:31:33 AM PST by 4CJ (||) Support free speech and stop CFR - visit www.ArmorforCongress.com (||)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Stupid monitor's acting up again, getting all out of focus....
13 posted on 02/06/2004 8:34:02 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Arpege92
Does anyone else have any stories about Reagan?

I recommend "When Character Was King" by Peggy Noonan. All kinds of personal stuff that yields a portrait of this magnificent American.

Happy birthday President Reagan!

14 posted on 02/06/2004 8:37:45 AM PST by americanSoul (Better to die on your feet, than live on your knees. Live Free or Die. I should be in New Hampshire.)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I love the G. K. Chesterson quote. He's absolutely right, of course. Without divine creation, why should man have rights? Just because wants them?
15 posted on 02/06/2004 8:37:55 AM PST by gridlock (BARKEEP: Why the long face? HORSE: Ha ha, old joke. BARKEEP: I was talking to John Kerry!)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
It's the simple things that tell who a man really is. There's a reason Ronald Reagan will always hold a special place in the hearts of the American people.

Now, where's a tissue so I can dry my eyes.
16 posted on 02/06/2004 8:38:08 AM PST by FourPeas
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To: r9etb
Yep. That's happened to me several times today, all while reading one of the Reagan birthday threads.
17 posted on 02/06/2004 8:39:40 AM PST by Freemyland
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Thanks for posting this.

I don't really know why, but when I read this, tears slipped down my cheek.

God Bless you, President Reagan. My kids will know your character, sir. I am honored to have been a citizen of this great country while you served as our Commander in Chief.

18 posted on 02/06/2004 8:45:17 AM PST by mattdono (Big Arnie: "Crush the democrats, drive them before you, and hear the lamentations of the scumbags.")
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To: mattdono; r9etb
I don't really know why, but when I read this, tears slipped down my cheek

Stupid monitor's acting up again, getting all out of focus....

Yeah, that is what I meant...my monitor was getting out of focus too. <wink>

19 posted on 02/06/2004 8:48:32 AM PST by mattdono (Big Arnie: "Crush the democrats, drive them before you, and hear the lamentations of the scumbags.")
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I so miss Ronald Reagan...
20 posted on 02/06/2004 8:49:54 AM PST by The Clemson Tiger (Hold that Tiger!)
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