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August 15, 1988
This is my surprise day. A great luncheon tribute is on for Nancy which I’m not supposed to attend. I will however. After she left I got dressed and then over at the N.O. Convention Center I waited behind a curtain & when she finally appeared to respond to the tribute that had been addressed to her & she responded I walked out & on stage spoke my piece. It was a complete surprise to everyone. For once there was no W.H. leak.
Then it was back to the Hotel. Ron & Doria are due in any minute. Nancy cant dine with us. She has to go over to the Convention for some interviews. Ron arrived without Doria, she has a touch of flu.
We all had dinner—Mike, Colleen, Cameron, Ashley Marie, Ron, Dick & the family, Maureen & Dennis. Then it was on to the Convention where we joined up with Nancy. There were speeches by Paul Laxalt, John McCain, a touching movie as a tribute to me, Jack Kemp spoke, Liz Dole was Chairwoman. After the movie I spoke—well Nancy had earlier said a few words. My speech was well received and the session ended with the song “I Love the U.S.A.” sung by Lee Greenwood.
Back to the Hotel & a reception for a gang of our friends & cabinet members. We didn’t get to bed until about 1 A.M.