A great inner migration has occurred in that man.
GEORGE WILL, JANUARY 31, 19891
THE AL HAIG AFFAIR AROUSED Reagan from his habitual passivity and engaged him in the conduct of the presidency. He was not easily so aroused. While physically courageous, Reagan was apt to retreat within himself when confronted by situations that demanded emotional engagement. Haig did not recognize it, but he had evoked an unusual response from Reagan, who rarely asked for anyone's resignation, whether it was submitted to him or not. Reagan was an inner-directed man whose experience had taught him the perils of personal confrontation. He brimmed with optimism but did not readily confide in others, except for his mother and his second wife. Reagan had learned hard boyhood lessons of emotional survival and built on this knowledge to gain the secrets of success in the outside world. Though life and Hollywood had cast him as best friend, Reagan remained a loner. He depended upon others for management and stage direction, but kept the managers outside the boundaries of his personal world. Ronald Wilson Reagan believed in God, his luck, his mother, Nancy Reagan, and the United States of America. His trust was in himself.
In his autobiography Where's the Rest of Me?, Reagan both confronts and romanticizes his nomadic boyhood in small-town Illinois, where he was born in Tampico on February 6, 1911. His father, John Edward (Jack) Reagan, an Irish-American shoe salesman who moved from town to town in Illinois before settling in Dixon, was an alcoholic. When he was eleven years old, Reagan came home to find his father lying on his back on the front porch "drunk, dead to the world." 2 More than a half century later, Reagan could vividly recall recoiling at the sight. Jack Reagan's arms were spread out "as if he were crucified--as indeed he was, his hair soaked with melting snow, snoring as he breathed." No one else was there to help the