I guess you had to be there….
Lyn Nofziger has passed away and The Corner’s Peter Robinson, a Reagan apple-polisher if there ever was one (oh, sit down Peggy) rustles through his notes to find just the perfect Nofzinger moment with which to memorialize the man.
I riffled around in my notes to find a Nofziger story to share with the readers of this Corner. This one contains all the right elements: A touch of salty language, a standoff with Nancy Reagan, and a situation saved by Ronald Reagan.
The scene was in a hotel in North Carolina in 1976. Running for the Republican presidential nomination against the incumbent president, Gerald Ford, Reagan had suffered a string of primary defeats, and by the time of the North Carolina primary even some of Reaganâ€™s well-wishers had begun to wonder whether challenging Ford had been a mistake. Nancy Reagan called Nofziger, the campaign press secretary, to the candidateâ€™s suite. He found her there alone. â€œShe said, â€˜Lyn, weâ€™ve got to get Ronnie out of the race,â€™â€ Nofziger told me. â€œâ€™We canâ€™t have him embarrassed.â€™â€ Nofziger disagreed with Mrs. Reaganâ€”he felt certain Reagan could turn the campaign aroundâ€”but even he thought twice about telling her so to her face.
â€œIâ€™m standing there saying to myself, â€˜Now, how the hell am I going to say anything to her about this?â€ Nofziger said. Then the candidate himself walked in. â€œRonald Reagan saw instinctively what was going on. He turned to me, and he said, â€˜Lynwood [Reaganâ€™s nickname for Nofziger], I am not going to get out of this race. Weâ€™re going to stay in all the way.â€™ Nancy wasnâ€™t pleased,â€ Lyn said, chuckling, â€œbut she knew that was it.â€
Maybe I’ve become too cynical, but, hunh-wha-?
Even when the story is about Lyn Nofziger it ends up being about Ronald Reagan. Don’t any of these people have fathers of their own?