The Presidency: Yes, Reagan Was Watching

Yes, Reagan Was Watching

All week long Ronald Reagan was on the sidelines, or at least playing at the fringes, an uncharacteristic role for the most powerful man in the Western world.

It began on the Fourth of July weekend up at Camp David with hours of reminiscing about Fred Astaire, a Reagan friend who had died two weeks before. A collection of Astaire's old movies was Nancy Reagan's birthday present to herself. The first couple were spun again from nasty reality through the golden extravaganzas of Hollywood with Swingtime and Funny Face.

No matter how grim life may seem and how insistent his critics...