Miller Center

Interview with Edwin Meese, III


Photo of Meese, Edwin

Edwin Meese shares his experiences as one of Reagan's closest political confidants both as a senior official during the Sacramento years, as a member of the White House troika, as as Attorney General of the United States. Meese describes his first contact with Ronald Reagan during the 1966 gubernatorial campaign, and his tenure as legal affairs secretary and Chief of Staff for Governor Reagan. He covers a broad range of key issues like student protests, capital punishment, the pardoning process, press relations, the Governor's staff, and Reagan's short-lived 1968 run for the presidency. Meese gives an exhaustive account of the 1980 presidential campaign, specifically the primary campaign, the national convention, the vice-presidential selection process, and the campaign against President Carter. The interview then moves to a lengthy discussion of Meese's tenure as Attorney General. Meese covers his arduous confirmation process, judicial appointments, the organization of the Justice Department, the war on drugs and pornography, and a host of other issues in great detail. Finally, Meese gives a retrospective account of the man he served for fifteen years, describing Reagan as a great leader whom people should remember for the economic and foreign policy successes of the 1980s.

Copyright 2005 The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. Publicly released transcripts of the Ronald Reagan Oral History Project are freely available for non-commercial use according to the Fair Use provisions of the United States Copyright Code and International Copyright Law. Advance written permission is required for reproduction, redistribution, and extensive quotation or excerpting. Permission requests should be made to the Miller Center, P.O. Box 400406, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4406


The contents of this interview are not yet open to the public.