Reagan Interview With Carson



Something for the weekend.  Hail to the Chief in reference to President Ronald Wilson Reagan:


Today is the 110th birthday of Ronald Reagan, a birth date which I happily share.  On January 3, 1975 he was interviewed by Johnny Carson.  This was unusual because Carson rarely interviewed politicians, attempting to keep The Tonight Show free of political involvement.  The length is also unusual in that Reagan spoke with Carson for over a half hour.  Carson personally was a moderate to liberal Republican, although throughout his adult life he attempted to be resolutely apolitical in public.  Reagan had just finished his second term as Governor of California, and was beginning to contemplate a run for President in 1976.  He did so and came within a hair’s breadth of taking the nomination from President Ford, that unsuccessful run giving him valuable experience for his victorious campaign for the White House in 1980.  The interview is now a fascinating time capsule from 46 years ago.


Published in: on February 6, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Hmmm. reagan “was beginning” to think of the Presidency in 1976? I remember an article by Alistair Cooke about the resignation of Spiro Agnew and the nomination of Gerald Ford, in which Reagan, along with Connelly of Texas, was described as a possible candidate to the vacant Vice-Presidency who had been vetoed by the Democrats because “their presidential ambitions are, to put it mildly, raging.” That was, I think, in 1972.

    • Reagan considered jumping into the presidential primaries in 1968 but ultimately rejected the idea. I suspect that the Presidential bug had bitten him as far back as 64. However 76 was his first serious attempt.

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