‘Lefty’ Obama signs Reagan tribute as Nancy looks on
Obama, as is usual, signed with his left hand.
“Oh, you’re a lefty,” Reagan said, to scattered chuckles in the room.
“I am a lefty,” Obama replied evenly, adding: “Well, I think that President Reagan’s signature was more legible than mine.”
The bill creates a panel to plan and carry out events to honor Reagan’s 100th birthday in 2011. He died in 2004.
Obama slowly escorted the 87-year-old Reagan into the White House Diplomatic Room for the ceremony, as she clutched onto his arm and walked with a cane.
His remarks were almost Reaganesque.
“President Reagan helped as much as any president to restore a sense of optimism in our country, a spirit that transcended politics — that transcended even the most heated arguments of the day,” Obama said.
But Obama also praised Nancy Reagan for helping to draw attention to Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicted her husband before his death.
“In saying a long goodbye, Nancy Reagan became a voice on behalf of millions of families experiencing the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s disease,” Obama said.
Nancy Reagan recently told Vanity Fair magazine she was a little miffed to miss an earlier White House event on stem cell research, one of her causes.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (President Obama clasps former first lady Nancy Reagan’s hand after he signed Ronald Reagan tribute bill)