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Was Ronald Reagan Senile during his Second Term?

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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:36 PM
Original message
Was Ronald Reagan Senile during his Second Term?
I've heard comments about this before, but have never seen anything concrete.

I was also just a kid during his Presidency, so it's not something that would have meant a lot to me at the time.


So, for those of you who were more politically aware at that time, I ask you. Are the stories of Reagan's detachment and absent-mindedness true?
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Lone Pawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes. n/t
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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Leslie Stahl says yes
and talked about it in her book.
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fertilizeonarbusto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. yup
And during the first one too.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes.
He was both deaf and senile which made him a very dangerous man.
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Technowitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. I think the dementia was starting, yes
Also, there was a noticeable degradation of his functioning after Hinkley's assassination attempt. There's been speculation that Reagan suffered a bit of minor brain damage then due to oxygen deprivation -- which helped bring on the Alzheimer's a little early.
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. He was senile during his first term......
Edited on Wed Mar-30-05 02:41 PM by bowens43
he thought that he was playing a president.....
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
7. Does a bear......in the woods???
Edited on Wed Mar-30-05 02:41 PM by SoCalDem
:evilgrin:

He was purely a figurehead.. Bushie # 1 ran the show :( (still does)
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kevinmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes. Next Question
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes, I believe he was
Sadly, when they asked him about remembering anything about Iran Contra and he said he couldn't remember anything, he was probably telling the truth. :-(
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ramapo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. Absolutely
He wasn't all there during his first term either, IMHO. His closing statement during his last debate had him wandering aimlessly over the California landscape.
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. I heard one historian who had gone over Reagan's papers say there
signs of his senility dating back to six weeks or so after the assassination attempt. In retrospect, he showed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease during his debates with Fritz Mondale.

Donald Trump inserted a copy of a picture from Ron signed "Nancy" (signed by the First Lady) "and Reagan Reagan" (signed by Ron) in his autobiography.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. He was senile during his FIRST term
He never reagained full mental acuity after the assassination attempt. My mother spotted it in 1982, and she'd been dumb enough to vote for the man. I can't say I spotted it because I reacted as viscerally to him as I do to Idiot, and if I hadn't changed the channel quickly, my foot would have been through the screen.

However, I do believe that when he kept saying he couldn't remember during Iran/Contra, he was telling the truth. Leaks had already told us that he napped through most policy sessions, and Carter had stated that even with his full faculties intact, he was completely disengaged from the business of running this country.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. I always believed he was, but I doubt you'll ever find proof.
He was a bit hard of hearing, but he played it to the hilt every time he was walking to the helicopter on the WH lawn, or toward AF1, reporters would yell questions, and he would just signal "I can't hear you".

During his speaches he repeatedly said he was getting old and just couldn't remember everything. I suspected senility way before they finally announced his diagnosis years later.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
30. Remember pre-9/11 Shrub doing that "I can't hear you" bit?
Summer before 9/11, he was 10' from the reporter with no background helicopter noise (he was headed for a limo).

Before then, I knew I didn't like him. But that was when I knew he was insane.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Yes, I remember. I said he was pulling a Reagan!
Unfortunately, Reagan could pull it off, because he at least was pretty old. Shrub just looks like a fake!
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
14. Senile? No. Suffering from early-stage Alzheimer's? A-yup.
The word "senile" went out with hula hoops (as, we had thought, did Raygun's philosophy...), but yeah, he was definitely declining from about '86 onwards.

Absent-mindedness? How about "I can't recall" 120 times during the Iran-contra hearings?
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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. By Senile, I mean
Senile Dementia, not just generic old-age forgetfulness.

The reason I'm curious is because my grandmother has an advanced case of it, and it made me wonder at what point Reagan's started.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Alzheimer's is actually one form of senile dementia, so yes
I remember when the family made the tearful announcement, late one Sunday afternoon when they thought no one was paying attention. "AHA!", I thought, "That explains everything."
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Guckert Donating Member (946 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
15. the right would say he ended the cold war and brought down the wall
while suffering with Alzheimer's. Reagan was a prop for the GOP brownshirts and spin machine.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
37. Did all that!
And did it with both hemispheres of his rotten brain tied behind his back, as they say. Or was it lost behind the sofa?

Or was it sitting on the counter in plain sight, but he couldn't remember what he was looking for even when his hand was right on it?
Or was it under the mattress or in a big jar buried in the back yard?

Yes, the Schindlers are missing a great opportunity I believe to point out the world changing power of people without functioning brains. Ronald Reagan should be their best friend right now. Let the liberals cry over the "low quality of life" and the supposed indignity of persisting without a working neo-cortex; truth be told the brainless run this whole world and do a bang up job.
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Hunter_1253 Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. He did say...
that "Trees cause polution". What do you think?
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Drifter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Facts are stupid things
Another classic Reagan line that makes you ask: "What are you fucking kidding me"

Cheers
Drifter
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wideopen Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
18. I read that
Do a search for louisville eccentric observer (LEO) on of the columnists was Carl Brown (plain brown rapper), he was a member of the house of reps. and wrote an interesting article about it. It was in the issue the week after reagans death.
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westcor Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
19. Yes
His craziness started the day he went from being an actor to becoming a politican. Whats up with Republicans thinking they can make the switch, and somehow actually doing it. We need to make a stand, no more actors turned politicans. Its the same thing as rappers becoming actors, they are a joke (JaRule especially lol) Arnold is the biggest joke Ive ever heard of, but some of his policies arent closed minded and retarted like majority of republicans, thats sad the most laughable republican politican, is the only one with good morals. VOTE VIN DIESEL FOR GOVERNOR!!! HAHAHA
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
20. I bet Nancy's astrologer was really running things then
eom
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
40. Oh yeah...what was her name again?
Was it Jeanne Dixon or somebody else?

I bet she made a lot of heavy decisions in those days.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
22. Hell Yes!
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ktowntennesseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
23. Better question: Was Dubya senile during his First Term?
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wideopen Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. No, just
dumber than a box of fucking rocks!( hasn't changed, just added a load of arrogance for good measure)
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
24. He was exhibiting symptoms of dementia.
Sometimes it was treated as a joke, but everybody noticed. The assassination attempt did speed up the process.

However, he retained some acting chops. Maybe he was never a big star, but he retained the ability to speak his lines with feeling. A skill the Chimp has never mastered.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
27. Altziemers
nuff said

Sick disease, I mean I feel bad for anyone who has it but I sure as hell don't want them as my president
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DARE to HOPE Donating Member (552 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
28. He lost a lot of blood in the assassination attempt, only 6 weeks...
...into his administration. I am sure that affected his brain. And he was never very smart to begin with.

"Some people say" he was actually knifed by a "secret service" man on their muddling way around Washington--it turns out that press staffer James Brady's ambulance made it to the hospital ahead of Reagan's. Then it also turned out that Hinkleys and the Bushes were old oil buddy friends.

Don Regan was dispatched to keep Nancy busy. Can't really blame her for consulting the astrologer about this time. I was so angry at the Reagans at the time. I actually had thought Bush 41 would be more MODERATE than Reagan when he was elected in 1988 (not that I didn't work hard to defeat the Repubs.)

It was on the 20th anniversary of that date that the whole thing came clear to me--I could never figure why Bush had to be in such a hurry--but the description of the White House staff reponse on NPR jogged my awareness. Voxfux.com has a description of that day, among others. I never thought we would survive the 1980's. I was so grateful for the Clinton 1990's. Can't believe we are are in this hell, even deeper than before.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
29. Yes-early stages of alzheimer's
But I always figured Daddy Bush was running the show.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
31. Yes, I believe he was entering early stages of dementia
I remember one time he was confused and either forgot or didn't realize he was on the air, live, and he used the word "fuck."

Of course, that was before CNN and MSNBC and Fox so it wasn't replayed 4,000 times in one day.
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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. How about the time...he supposedly joked about Bombing Russia
will begin...yada yada yada on an open mike? People took it as a sick joke. I wondered then.

Comedians at the time..."Nancy? Nancy who?" joked about it some.

But the Iran/Contra...I don't recall on most of the questions. Signs were there.

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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
32. It was even an issue in his presidential debates. Everone knew.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
33. senile 1st and 2nd term & as guv of CA and so is Arnie
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ObaMania Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:28 PM
Original message
He sure was.
Nancy and Miss Cleo ran the show.

GHWB thought he was, but wasn't.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
34. senile 1st and 2nd term & as guv of CA and so is Arnie
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
38. My mother had Alzheimers
and it's a slow, gradual process, called the "slow death". The idea that Reagan's Alzheimers came upon him suddenly after his presidency ended has never seemed accurate to me. Also, during the Iran-Contra hearing, he couldn't answer basic questions. He didn't remember the name of his Secretary of State.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. It is a slow process, but trauma can accellerate it, not sure why.
I saw the same thing with my dad. Had forgetfullness, night terrors, slight dementia for several years, then had to have an operation. Within six months after he was full blown stage 2, and just two years later had to be moved to a home as he became a danger to both himself and my mother.

I think RR had low level symptoms during the election, but the trauma from the assassination attempt threw it into high gear. You notice that there was no period after his second term when he did the typical ex-president thing. He went straight from president to seclusion.
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
39. There's an old story about how he couldn't recognize his son Michael.
That was back when he was either governor or running for governor.

But that might not be dementia. After all, a lot of people try to forget Michael Reagan.
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BigBearJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
42. No more than Bush
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LaPera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
43. Absolutely. No question about it. He was already in the early stages in
his first term....

This is no secret, many who were there have stated and written about it.

Reagan, just like Bush is just the good ole boy spokesmen for the corporate neo-con fascist right-wing agenda...neither Reagan or Bush, had or have any real power, they do what they are told and what to say...isn't that obvious to everyone????
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