Dick & Ronnie & God & Gorby


Late in the afternoon of April 27, 1987, a secret visitor was smuggled into the White House. A helicopter swooped low and onto the landing pad. At the Diplomatic Entrance, Chief of Staff Howard Baker and National-Security Adviser Frank Carlucci greeted former president Richard Nixon. They escorted Nixon inside and up a private elevator to the second floor, the residence quarters of the White House, now occupied by Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Nixon had not set foot in the residence since August 9, 1974, the day he resigned from the presidency. Reagan and Nixon had known each other for years. After Reagan entered the White House, Nixon would send him occasional private notes, often flattering and unctuous. “Pat and my reactions were the same: ‘Thank God for Ronald Reagan,’” Nixon wrote in early 1981, after Reagan had granted a pardon to Mark Felt, the former associate director of the F.B.I., who had been convicted of approving illegal break-ins for surveillance. (Nixon did not know at the time that Felt had been Deep Throat, an agent of Nixon’s downfall.) At the end of 1981, Nixon wrote Reagan a note saying, “I like and admire [Poland’s Lech] Walesa, but in my book, Time missed the boat: President Reagan should have been Man of the Year.” Now Nixon was back.

more from Vanity Fair here.