The day started at 5:30 A.M. with a call from John P. & Don R. The situation in the Philippines is deteriorating. The Marcos family & the Vers left the palace & went to the airport. Then Gen. Ver apparently talked them out of leaving. Back in the Palace they went on T.V. The Pres. & the Gen. They got in an argument. The Gen. wanted to launch an attack on the military that has gone over to the anti-Marcos people. The Pres. said no. Well all of this ended sleep for me.
In the office at 9—the staff meeting & N.S.C. were on the same subject. I was approving statements for delivery to the Pres.—pleading for no violence.
Later Gov. Lamar Alexander came by—he’s a fine Gov. & a true gentleman. If Ambas. Mike Mansfield (Japan) retires Lamar would like the post—he’s no longer Gov. as of next year.
At 11:30 A.M. I addressed the Gov’s. Assn. meeting in the East room & took Q’s.
After an issues lunch went over to the E.O.B. for a surprise drop by of the 250 or so O.M.B. people who produce our budget. On the way over in driving snow storm stopped while the gals from the speech department serenaded me from a balcony with “Happy Belated Birthday.”
An interview with Dale Van Atta of Jack Andersons team. Met with our 1st Indian ever to be deputy Sec. of Interior in charge of Indian affairs. He’s a Cherokee chief but looks like a lawyer from the East. We saw eye to eye on the need to open the reservations to ec. progress & individual opportunity.
Then a call from Nancy—what to say to Imelda Marcos who was calling her? At same time I’m told Paul Laxalt, Geo. S., John Poindexter & Don R. were coming in about Pauls call to Marcos. We’ve agreed that he should be told I’m recommending he step down & we’ll take the lead in negotiating his safety & offering him sanctuary in the U.S. He says he wants to live out his life in the Philippines. Well we’ll try to negotiate that. Wound up the day in the dentists chair—time for inspection—I passed.