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November 12, 1981
It looked like everything was going wrong today. The “Big 3” were waiting with a “what to do about Stockman” question. Before we could get into that—had a meeting with leadership. Repub. of the House & Sen. on the budget— Stockman present. He asked for the floor—got up & told them he’d made a stupid mistake etc. & they applauded. Back in the Oval off met with staff, George B. & Don Regan. I didn’t go along with one or two who wanted to fire Dave—nor did Don R. or George B. Dave came over & he and I had lunch. I had lunch—he couldn’t eat. He stood up to it and then tendered his resignation. I got him to tell the whole thing about his supposed friend who betrayed him, then refused to accept his resignation. Told him he should to a “mea culpa” before the press and clear the misconception that had been created by the story. He was all set to go & did—taking their questions head on. The big thrill today was learning that after I’d told the press conference Tues. about a 31⁄2 yr. old girl spending her life in a hospital on medicaid at $10,000 a month when it would only cost $1,000 at home but which her parents could not afford—we scored. A silly regulation kept her in the hospital even though the Dr’s. said she’d be better off at home. The story got national press attention and Dick Schweiker found he could cancel the regulation. Tonite’s news carried the story she’s going home. I called her parents—they are very happy. Teddy K. [Kennedy] brought his mother (Rose) over to the office to visit Nancy & me. Our soldiers in Germany have a Rodeo group & put on Rodeos for the Germans. A delegation came by to make me an honorary member. N.S.C. meeting to get at particulars for the Nov. 30 start of arms reduction talks with the Soviets.