Editor’s note: This is the second in two stories about Michael Reagan’s speech in Santa Barbara. The first story appeared in Thursday’s News-Press, and you can find it at newspress.com.
Michael Reagan says his father, President Ronald Reagan, was down to earth and sincerely interested in people.
“If he was talking to you, you were his best friend. Whereas so many politicians will shake your hands and say ‘nice to meet you’ and look to see who else is in the room, he would spend time with you,” Michael Reagan told a small crowd Wednesday afternoon during a benefit for Republican Assembly candidate Mike Stoker at Harry Plaza’s Cafe.
“Nancy had to bring a crowbar to bring him out of places,” Mr. Reagan said as Mr. Stoker sat next to him. “‘We’ve got to got home!’”
The crowd at the Santa Barbara restaurant laughed.
“He would have stayed all night long,” Mr. Reagan said.
“He was a down-to-earth guy. He was never full of himself,” Mr. Reagan recalled. “He was comfortable in his own skin.”
Mr. Reagan added that his father was deeply religious and liked to quote scriptures.
He also noted his mother, Jane Wyman, who was President Reagan’s first wife, was in the same business as he. They were both movie stars.
Ms. Wyman and Ronald Reagan both acted in the 1938 comedy “Brother Rat.” And Ms. Wyman won the Oscar for best actress four times and was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Mr. Reagan good-naturedly noted his father couldn’t compete with his mother in terms of Hollywood success.
“He had to find this new job (politics), which worked out really well in the long run,” he said.
The crowd laughed again.
In discussing politics, Mr. Reagan stressed the importance of the midterm election, which is less than a month away.
“The election is important in 2024, with the presidency and so forth,” Mr. Reagan said. “But the most important election you have is local: schools boards, Assembly, supervisors, what have you. Those are the closest to the people. Those are the decisions that affect you every single day.
“It’s important that people show up and show support for candidates like Mike,” Mr. Reagan said as Mr. Stoker listened.