Letter Accepting the Resignation of William Henkel as Assistant to the President
is with great regret that I accept your resignation as Assistant to the
I am deeply indebted to you for your outstanding efforts in the many roles you've played in my two terms of office and the campaign which preceded them. From your advance work in 1980 to your appointment in 1982 as a Special Consultant, and then as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, your assignment as Director of Operations for my second Inaugural and, finally, as Deputy Assistant and then Assistant to the President, you have carried out your important and sensitive responsibilities with unfailing professionalism, personal insight, and skill.
demands that have been placed on your position have grown rapidly with the
accelerating changes that have occurred not only in American domestic life but
in our status as the leading nation of the Free World. Distance and time have
been compressed, both in geographical terms and in the pace of political events
that call for evaluation and response. In 1918, Woodrow and Edith Wilson spent
12 days on the steamer George Washington traveling from
Despite the changes that technology has wrought, the arduous variety of your tasks -- what Merriman Smith in A President's Odyssey called ``problems of protocol, logistics and personal safety; detailed minute-to-minute schedules'' -- has remained fundamentally the same. As his phrases make clear, much more than travel is involved -- your duties encompassed the safety of the President and those who accompany him, the public's interest in contact with the person they have chosen to lead them, the public's understanding of the national policies which so profoundly affect their lives, and the furtherance of U.S. goals and interests in its relations with its allies and the world community.
You have always recognized the scope of your responsibilities within this framework, and I have relied on you extensively, your advice and your experience, as we developed plans to communicate my agenda and to explain my policies both here at home and abroad. As a leading member of my White House Planning Group, you have helped guide the design and articulation of my Administration's themes and programs. Far from being an adjunct to policy, this planning lies at the heart of the success we have enjoyed in turning ideas into proposals and proposals into legislation. Few people who deal so closely with the public have fewer opportunities for getting public credit than you have had, but I can assure you that your colleagues in the Administration, and I, personally, recognize how much credit for our success belongs to you.
If I'd had the opportunity, I might have counseled you against the offer of further service you included in closing, because I now feel free to call upon you from time to time to extend the yeoman's labors you've already given this Presidency. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you and Ali, and your entire family, for the long hours of separation you've endured and the many sacrifices you've made for me and for this Nation.
Nancy and I thank you, send our best wishes for the future, and pray that God will bless you always.
Dear Mr. President:
considerable thought and with mixed emotions, I have concluded I cannot delay
any further my return to the private sector. The experiences of the past five
years have been the most rewarding and fulfilling of my life. Because of these
experiences and my deep respect and affection for you and Mrs. Reagan, the
decision to submit my resignation effective
I have often contemplated returning to Merrill Lynch since my two-year leave of absence expired, over three years ago. However, I always concluded there were compelling challenges here at the White House and I might in some way be able to help. Now, however, family and personal considerations require me to end my full-time commitment but not my continuing loyalty, devotion and dedication to the principles you have so vigorously and successfully represented. My decision has been made easier because of the excellent team now in place in the White House.
over five years, I have had the unique honor to help you communicate to the
American people your agenda and policies through your public events and travel.
As a result, I have had the privilege to travel with you throughout this great
nation and to have witnessed firsthand the dramatic resurgence of the American
spirit. To have seen and felt firsthand this renewed pride in
responsibility you entrusted to me was helping plan and direct your
international travel and foreign public diplomacy. In five short years, the
march of democracy worldwide and the growth of economic freedom are a direct
result of your leadership and example. No one has represented
and internationally, your Presidency has made a dramatic difference. My family,
but especially my new daughter, Jessica, will benefit from your efforts as
I am confident that with your remaining time in office you will complete the framework for lasting world peace and genuine economic prosperity in a freer nation and world.
Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me and the opportunity to serve you and this great country during the past five years. Hopefully, I can continue to help you, and I hope you will call upon me for other assignments.
With the very best wishes for every future success to you and Mrs. Reagan.