Miller Center

James Kuhn

James  Kuhn James Kuhn

Speaker: James Kuhn
Date: March 7, 2003

James Kuhn discusses his unique experience as the personal assistant to Ronald Reagan for the last four years of his presidency. Kuhn began his tenure with Reagan as an advance person in the 1980 presidential campaign, and he examines his role in the campaign and as part of the White House Advance Office during the first term. Much of the interview is dedicated to Kuhn's observations as one of the closest, and least recognized, of the President's assistants. He recounts stories from his 91 weekends with the President to Camp David, and major trips taken during the second term to Geneva, Bitburg, Reykjavik, Moscow, and the Brandenburg Gate. He tells of Reagan's reactions to major events such as the Challenger disaster and the Iran-Contra affair, and Reagan's meetings with Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Francois Mitterrand, and other major world figures. He also gives his observations of key members of the cabinet and White House staff, and the First Lady. Much like the interview with Kathleen Osborne, Kuhn' recollections contain a personal quality rarely approached in most other interviews.