The Reagan administration may seem like old news, especially since many of you reading this weren’t even been born yet when it ended, but the legacy of Ronald Reagan and the people in his administration lasts until this day. Some of the key players are still working in politics and conservative activism. Others have changed the way policy and procedure plays out. All of them have absolutely interesting backstories. If you claim to be a politico, especially a conservative politico, these are five people from the Reagan administration you should absolutely know.
Ed Meese and Ronald Reagan go away back. When Reagan was Govenor of California, Meese was a legal affairs secretary, an executive assistant, and eventually his Chief of Staff. When Reagan was on the campaign trail for the 1980 election, Meese joined as his Chief of Staff and a general adviser. Then, after Reagan was victorious, he oversaw the transition team. Once Reagan was in office, Meese served in a couple different advisory and committee roles. He really became a national name when he was appointed to be the 75thAttorney General of the United States. Currently, Meese serves at the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. In addition, he is the author of several books.
Bay Buchanan is the youngest person to ever be Treasurer of the United States, just 32, and she was appointed by Ronald Reagan. Buchanan had been involved in Reagan’s early campaigns and fought hard for her role in his administration. She also managed her brother’s three campaigns for president, all of which were ultimately unsuccessful. She’s also been an adviser to Mitt Romney. Currently, Bay Buchanan tours the country speaking on college campuses and to other groups about female empowerment and being pro-life. She’s an excellent public speaker. Buchanan really gets people fired up to make a difference.
James Brady, who was served as Reagan’s press secretary for the early part of his administration, is the only fatality of the 1981 assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr, dying from his injuries many decades later. His injuries from the attempt left him partially paralyzed and in a wheel-chair. Though he was unable to work as the press secretary going forward, Reagan kept him in that position formally while the people who took over for him did so on a “deputy” or “acting” basis. Brady and his wife became strong advocates for gun control. They founded the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The Brady Bill, which made law the requirement of federal background checks on firearm purchases, is named after him. The White House press briefing room is also named after him.
You may know Peggy Noonan as a best-selling author and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, but she first became a household name as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and one of his most important speechwriters. Noonan was called upon to write Reagan’s speech after the tragic Challenger explosion, a speech that was highly televised and well-received by the nation. Since her time in the White House, she’s authored several best-selling books and even won a Pulitzer Prize.