New Ron Reagan book: My dad had Alzheimer’s while in office

posted at 8:49 pm on January 14, 2011 by Allahpundit

Reagan’s doctors and Alzheimer’s specialists have been debunking this myth for years, but no matter how many times they try to explain that occasional memory lapses in an elderly person do not an Alzheimer’s diagnosis make, the narrative rolls on. And it’ll keep rolling, thanks to Ron Jr and the explosive never-before-revealed details in his new book which, per Paul Bedard of U.S. News, … seem not to add up.

Besides playing amateur doctor, Ron Reagan reveals, if true, brain surgery on his dad never before reported. He accurately reports that Reagan, after leaving the presidency, was bucked from a horse on July 4, 1989, while in Mexico. Ron tells of how his dad, after initially refusing medical help, was transported to a San Diego hospital. “Surgeons opening his skull to relieve pressure on the brain emerged from the operating room with the news that they had detected what they took to be probable signs of Alzheimer’s disease.” Several Reagan associates, however, say there was no surgery in San Diego.

What’s more there is no reporting about any San Diego operation on Reagan. News reports at the time of his fall say Reagan was flown to a hospital in Arizona, where he was treated for scrapes and bruises and released after five hours…

Ron Reagan doesn’t mention this, but says that Reagan visited the Mayo Clinic in 1990 for tests that “confirmed the initial suspicion of Alzheimer’s.” Reagan’s post-presidency history, documented in several archives like University of Texas, reveal no such visit. And Dr. John E. Hutton Jr. his doctor from 1984 through Reagan’s retirement, told the New York Times that Reagan didn’t show the tell-tale symptoms until 1993.

Follow the link and you’ll see that another big piece of “evidence” is Ron feeling his heart sink as he watched his pop stumble through a bad, “bewildered” performance in his first debate with Mondale in 1984. Quote: “Some voters were beginning to imagine grandpa—who can never find his reading glasses—in charge of a bristling nuclear arsenal, and it was making them nervous. Worse, my father now seemed to be giving them legitimate reason for concern.” That was October 7, 1984; a month later, the “concern” had turned into a 49-state landslide.

Here’s former Reagan advisor David Gergen telling Ron, as gently as he can: Stop.


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Pathetic POS. He solidifies the disgust of not being able to pick your own family members and bloodline. Although, thank goodness, he tried and did a pretty good job at that! Thank you Michael. At least you give the family legacy some redeeming quality. I blame Nancy for Ron, Jr.

I think I’ll like to point out to this POS that mental illness, most often, is genetic. At what point in time did Dr. R Jr. discover his father’s disease? I’ll assume R Jr. suffers for the disease as well until I ACTUALLY see medical records to the contrary. Due to this fact I can disregard EVERYTHING this POS says as the rantings of a forgetful delusional mentally ill man.

Sultry Beauty on January 17, 2011 at 9:28 AM

He’s plain stupid, and so are his advisors.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Anninca is also apparently.

csdeven on January 17, 2011 at 10:16 AM

That’s an impressive list. Hmmm . . . I wonder how they say “impressive” in Austrian. ~ ;-)

SoRight on January 15, 2011 at 9:42 PM

hahaha

csdeven on January 17, 2011 at 10:17 AM

BWHAHAHAHA!!! Like Rush says lil ronnie. Your pop could kick your ballerina ass with half his brain tied behind his bacl!!! LMAO!!!

sonnyspats1 on January 17, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Like Anne, I have, with reflection come to the conclusion that, from a scientific standpoint, Little Ron is right — President Reagan probably had Alzheimer’s while in office — probably Stage 1 (asymptomatic) — since few people other than Ron observed any symptoms, and all of those people are liberals. It is a progressive disease, as the linked article shows, and he was diagnosed five years after leaving office

What makes Little Ron’s position so political is his claim that President Reagan should have stepped down, because the disease was adversely affecting his reasoning ability, when the historical record indicates that President Reagan had his complete faculties.

Even if President Reagan was at Stage Two (some loss of memory), his faculties were far clearer than either the Soviets’ or the Democrats, and that says something altogether different from Little Ron’s proposition.

An interesting research topic would be how liberals are so capable of detecting the onset of Alzheimer’s in conservatives, but seemingly incapable of detecting it in people of their own political persuasion.

unclesmrgol on January 17, 2011 at 11:32 AM

unclesmrgol, I respect your opinion, and you base your observation better than anyone here.

On this one I agree to disagree. While this may be true, and while it may be possible, the best evidence from Reagan’s own doctors, the men in those days who had the best information at the time, is that Reagan did not have stages of AZ.

I do agree with you on your observations. If you heard Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy in their final years and compared them with Reagan, and use the same critical reasoning they wish to apply to Reagan, these men should have retired a long, long time ago.

itsspideyman on January 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Let me get this straight, a guy with the mental disorder of liberalism is able to determine that his father had alzheimers in the White house? So what if he did have the beginnings of alzheimers? What relevance is it now? I think Ronald Reagan must have accidentally dropped JR on his head when he was little. I think he’s just looking for a paycheck.

CrusaderPatriot on January 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I think Ronald Reagan must have accidentally dropped JR on his head when he was little. I think he’s just looking for a paycheck.

CrusaderPatriot on January 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

The left needs a diversion from the Tucson Tragedy.

This ain’t it.

Roy Rogers on January 17, 2011 at 2:00 PM

He accurately reports that Reagan, after leaving the presidency, was bucked from a horse on July 4, 1989, while in Mexico. Ron tells of how his dad, after initially refusing medical help, was transported to a San Diego hospital. “Surgeons opening his skull to relieve pressure on the brain emerged from the operating room with the news that they had detected what they took to be probable signs of Alzheimer’s disease.”

So how would that prove that Reagan had Alzheimer’s disease while he was President?

News reports at the time of his fall say Reagan was flown to a hospital in Arizona, where he was treated for scrapes and bruises and released after five hours…

Lil’ Ronnie says his Dad’s skull was opened, the news reports say he was treated for scrapes and bruises. After all the attention these days to the brain surgery on a Congresswoman, one would think a recent (in 1989) President’s brain surgery might be reported as more than “scrapes and bruises”. A brain surgeon doesn’t open a patient’s skull and release him in five hours!!!

Ronnie Jr. wins the Dishonor Thy Father award, with Meghan McCain as a close runner-up.

Steve Z on January 17, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Guess Ron, Jr. never heard this one: Honor your Mother and Father. Of course, as I recall, he always seemed to go out of his way to stick it to his father. If Maureen were alive she’d probably give her little stepbrother what for.

I hope Nancy “forgets” to mention him in the will.

Done That on January 15, 2011 at 2:44 PM

At last report, Ron Reagan Jr. was spotted behind a woodshed, with Michael Reagan administering some brotherly love.

Steve Z on January 17, 2011 at 3:30 PM

This isn’t REALLY about Reagan. Not as much as you might think.

Think extreme devious, and it becpmes very apparent what these turds are doing.

44Magnum on January 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

My thoughts exactly. And I think we can expect to see more & more Reagan- bashing as the next election approaches.

kg598301 on January 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Alzheimers cannot be diagnosed until autopsy. While doctors are able to form a theory, based on observation and family history, that Alzheimers is likely in a given patient, it is impossible to confirm that theory before the patient is dead. Pinpointing exactly when the disease begins, as a result, is an impossibility. I don’t know where Little Ron thinks he’s getting his information from, or what his agenda is, but he couldn’t possibly know that it’s true.

Selkirk on January 17, 2011 at 8:41 PM

itsspideyman on January 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Well, we can both agree that it is, indeed, a progressive disease, in every sense of the word.

The earlier stages of Alzheimer’s are rarely diagnosed; stage 1 (Reisburg Scale), being asymptomatic, is when the earliest plaques begin forming in the brain. That doctors do not diagnose it at that point doesn’t mean the disease isn’t there — for there isn’t a way to diagnose stage 1 Alzheimer’s other than a brain biopsy — and who the hell is going to do that to a living person? In fact, the only way to know a person had Stage 1 while they are alive is to determine that they are at Stage 2 or beyond.

unclesmrgol on January 18, 2011 at 2:47 AM

Oh my: Ron Reagan admits he got facts wrong

steebo77 on January 18, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Like Anne, I have, with reflection come to the conclusion that, from a scientific standpoint, Little Ron is right — President Reagan probably had Alzheimer’s while in office — probably Stage 1 (asymptomatic) — since few people other than Ron observed any symptoms, and all of those people are liberals. It is a progressive disease, as the linked article shows, and he was diagnosed five years after leaving office

What makes Little Ron’s position so political is his claim that President Reagan should have stepped down, because the disease was adversely affecting his reasoning ability, when the historical record indicates that President Reagan had his complete faculties.

Even if President Reagan was at Stage Two (some loss of memory), his faculties were far clearer than either the Soviets’ or the Democrats, and that says something altogether different from Little Ron’s proposition.

An interesting research topic would be how liberals are so capable of detecting the onset of Alzheimer’s in conservatives, but seemingly incapable of detecting it in people of their own political persuasion.

unclesmrgol on January 17, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I thank you. I don’t think his symptoms were affecting him in his duties to the country. I do think towards the end, he was starting to startle even those beyond his intimates.

but that still doesn’t mean anything.

I think Alzheimer’s is a very slow and progressive disease. In my own family, and we definitely have that darn gene, we tease one another.

Lo behold ye who forget. We’re quick to say, “Thank heaven’s, it’s you.”

Ghoul humor.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 10:44 AM

What I think is wrong, obviously, about the conservative reaction?

Alzheimer’s is a disease, not a failure of moral character.

It’s a disease, people.

I tend to believe that Nancy really did embrace Ron’s memoir.

She surely knows this. If ever there was someone who loved her partner, it was her.

I can’t imagine that she would fault him because he was afflicted with some disease he couldn’t control.

And I don’t particularly respect conservatives who don’t respect that either.

And I don’t even like Reagan or his politics.

Irony.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM


Reagan’s doctors and Alzheimer’s specialists have been debunking this myth for years, but no matter how many times they try to explain that occasional memory lapses in an elderly person do not an Alzheimer’s diagnosis make, the narrative rolls on.

itsspideyman on January 20, 2011 at 9:23 AM

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