Former White House Correspondent Talks About Reagan as President - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/8/04

Former White House Correspondent Talks About Reagan as President

Tuesday NewsChannel 11's Abner Euresti interviewed former NBC Correspondent John Palmer via satellite. Palmer was a reporter who spent many years at the White House during Reagan's Presidency.

"I camped outside his home, that was the first time I met Reagan. He was charming, disarmingly so, he invited us in to his study. He showed us all his yellow legal pads, he was writing his own inaugural address. When we were there he called Malcom Baldrige to ask him to be his Secretary of Commerce. Apparently Mrs. Baldrige answered the phone and said he can't come to the phone Mr. Reagan, he is breaking a horse out back and that will take an hour and then he'll call you back. Reagan grinned and said you know, that's the kind of guy I want to be in my cabinet, he has his priorities right," said John Palmer, a former NBC White House correspondent.

NC11: Did he have a period there where he had to prove himself because he was a former actor?

"It was a tough battle he had trying to turn things around but that he did though his skills as a communicator and the way he dealt with the press. When he felt he wasn't making headway to get his message out through the press, he would go over the press' head and go directly from the Oval Office to the American people," said Palmer.

NC11: John, today there were people who waited seven hours to view his body which shows us how much he was loved, why is that?

"He was very much a believer and fan of pomp and circumstance. It was a different time and different era, but I think he did a lot to restore America's good feeling about themselves and he did that through a lot of pageantry. We didn't have royalty, probably the closes we've come to it is someone like Ronald Reagan. I think he will be remembered for not only the end of the Cold War but also for giving Americans a feeling of pride that perhaps was lacking at that time," said Palmer.

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