Nixon & Kissinger on Reagan: “His brains are negligible”

Richard Nixon’s White House tapes continue to amuse. Here’s an exchange between him and then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

President Nixon: What’s your evaluation of Reagan after meeting him several times now.

Kissinger: Well, I think he’s a… actually I think he’s a pretty decent guy.

President Nixon: Oh, decent, no question, but his brains

Kissinger: Well, his brains, are negligible. I…

President Nixon: He’s really pretty shallow, Henry.

Kissinger: He’s shallow. He’s got no… he’s an actor. He… When he gets a line he does it very well. He said, “Hell, people are remembered not for what they do, but for what they say. Can’t you find a few good lines?” [Chuckles.] That’s really an actor’s approach to foreign policy.

Hat tip to Marc Andreessen. I’ve cleaned up the punctuation a bit.