Published January 14, 2015
This is a partial transcript of "Special Report with Brit Hume", June 7, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: I like photographers. You don't ask questions.
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BRIT HUME, HOST: Journalists who cover a president who get a close-up view of him that few others do. But there is one group of journalists who get an especially intimate look. They are the still photographers, who are often privy to settings where no reporters or video cameras are admitted.
One of the most esteemed such photographers is my distant cousin and colleague David Hume Kennerly, who has been making pictures of American presidents for more than 30 years. He joins us tonight from Los Angeles.
David, I want to look with you at three pictures you made of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. First was one you made, this must have been 1984 at the American military cemetery in Normandy. What do you remember about that shot?
DAVID HUME KENNERLY, "NEWSWEEK" CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: That was 20 years ago yesterday, in fact. That is a perfect image of president and Mrs. Reagan. They just -- it made you proud to be an American to see them walking along, and they just had a great sense of the moment. And this was certainly a big one, and a place where he gave one of the best speeches of his career actually.
HUME: Yes, that was the famous Point de Hoc speech.
I want to take you to a more intimate setting. This is a very interesting picture to me, David. This is -- you obviously had to have been inside the White House. They, I guess, were out -- what's that? Must be the Truman Balcony, Washington Monument beyond. And you see them together in kind of an intimate moment. Tells about that.
KENNERLY: Well that actually was shot from -- you're right. I was inside called the Yellow Oval Room on the second floor of the White House. They were standing outside on the Truman Balcony. And that really summarizes their relationship. What is so funny about that picture is that when I took it, I was working for "Time" magazine, and they didn't run it because they thought it was too schmaltzy. And I said they are schmaltzy.
KENNERLY: So -- it was -- what's wrong with that?
HUME: And one -- and another one still, taken also -- this inside the family quarters upstairs. I guess this is that solarium upstairs. What's going on here? It looks to me as if she's checking the crease in his pants. Now, how did you get to be in there? How did they act towards you? Tell us about this picture.
KENNERLY: Well again, it was for a magazine shoot. And it was Sunday morning, they were reading the Sunday papers, and they were very playful with one another. And that's exactly what she was doing, checking out his pants, as she made some comments about, you know, we're in Washington now, Ronnie. It's not California anymore. But that room that they were in on the third floor of the White House, they had decorated in sort of a California-style decor.
And they were really easy to be around. I've got to tell you, and I've been around a lot of presidents, and it's always been a pleasure for me.
HUME: Was it...
KENNERLY: It was a pleasure certainly.
HUME: It was that they got it about what photographers need?
KENNERLY: Oh, I think Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Reagan both understood what it was that we did and how they came across in photographs. I think Bill Clinton (search) did. I think Kennedy did. I mean others to a degree certainly, but Ronald Reagan was one of the easiest people to photograph. I mean it was always something going on with him that was interesting for us.
HUME: Now, to turn to somewhat more public settings here. There's a very interesting shot from, I guess, this was Geneva in, what...
KENNERLY: November 1985.
HUME: Eighty-five. I'm sorry.
KENNERLY: Yes. That was the first meeting between Gorbechev and Reagan. And this actually was one of the most important pictures I think I have ever taken in my career, because symbolically it showed the thawing of relations between Reagan and Gorbechev. And at the end of this meeting -- and I was privileged to be in the room when they started. And then after they were done I came back in. The look that Gorbechev gave Reagan was almost an adoring kind of a stare. I mean it was unbelievable. You could see that the two of them had just hit it off.
HUME: So you knew then that that ice had indeed been broken?
KENNERLY: Well, it was clear to me then that those guys were going to get along. And I think that's part of what makes international relations work. It's a personal sort of diplomatic effort.
HUME: I want to ask you about this next one, which I must -- must date from -- your date is -- you were the Ford official photographer, right? You worked for...
KENNERLY: Right. This photograph was taken in Detroit in 1980, when Reagan won the nomination. And then he and Ford had been at odds. And Ronald Reagan had a great sense of respect for other people and gave President Ford this authentic Indian peace pipe to settle the differences that they had. and it was a great moment. It was a very private moment. This is not -- I was the only other person in the room. But this really shows how Reagan did business, which was brilliant, quite frankly.
HUME: I notice you were careful to get their wives in the background.
HUME: Let me take you to one more that is a striking picture that you made. This was, I guess, at the dedication of the Reagan Library. Tell us about this picture and about Reagan in it.
KENNERLY: Well, this is never of 1991 when they dedicated the Reagan Library, and I was just up there again today under obviously more -- under sad circumstances. But all five presidents were lined up, and it was the first time the five had ever stood on the same spot and...
KENNERLY: ... and the other presidents were looking out this way, and Reagan saw me and one of the photographers.
HUME: He saw? I got you. David Kennerly, wonderful to have you. Thank you so very much. Terrific pictures. Fascinating to remember them.
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