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Those Who Lost

March 22, 1987

Four key Reagan Administration officials are mentioned most often in discussions of Nancy Reagan's influence over those who advise her husband:

DONALD T. REGAN The former Treasury secretary, a brusque ex-Marine who had carved out a successful career on Wall Street, alienated the First Lady almost from the day he traded jobs with Chief of Staff James A. Baker III in 1985. When the Iran- contra scandal disrupted President Reagan's second term, White House aides say, Mrs. Reagan focused on the new chief of staff as a key obstacle to reviving the President's political effectiveness. She and a group of longtime friends and advisers lobbied him to replace Regan, who had also rankled the First Lady by making disparaging remarks about women. The chief of staff resigned in February, a day after the critical Tower Commission report was released.

WILLIAM P. CLARK The former California associate Supreme Court justice had served as Ronald Reagan's chief of staff in Sacramento. Brought to the White House as national security adviser in 1982 from the No. 2 post in the State Department, he became enmeshed in a power struggle that pitted him and presidential counselor Edwin Meese III against Chief of Staff James A. Baker III and Nancy Reagan favorite Michael K. Deaver, the deputy chief of staff. Earlier, he prompted headlines for being unable at his confirmation hearings to answer basic questions about U.S. foreign policy. He left for the relative quiet of the Interior Department when James G. Watt resigned under fire.

JAMES G. WATT Reagan's controversial first Interior secretary was forced to quit in October, 1983, after describing members of an advisory panel as "a black . . . a woman, two Jews and a cripple." A darling of the President's conservative supporters and a political lightning rod for environmentalists opposed to the Administration's conservation policies, Watt had already made an enemy of Nancy Reagan. After he banned the Beach Boys from performing near the Washington Monument on July 4, 1983, in favor of more "wholesome" entertainment (Las Vegas mainstay Wayne Newton), Mrs. Reagan announced that the California pop group was one of her favorites and invited them to the White House.

RICHARD V. ALLEN The President's first national security adviser embarrassed the White House by accepting $1,000 and three Seiko watches from a Japanese news organization for helping to arrange an interview with the First Lady. Allen stashed the money in his office safe without spending any, but he took a two-month leave of absence while under investigation. He was forced out in January, 1982, as a political liability to the Administration even though he had been cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department and the White House legal counsel. Allen's poor relations with Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. also were blamed.

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