" Deaver reminded the reader that former Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy endorsed Reagan's presidential candidacy in 1980 against Carter, the Democratic incumbent.
It was an astonishing event at the time because McCarthy had led the revolt against President Lyndon B. Johnson's bid for reelection because of the Vietnam war and had been viewed as a liberal Democrat.
Deaver said that McCarthy asked for a meeting with Reagan, which he arranged.
After "some small talk" Reagan expressed his appreciation for McCarthy's support. Later, Deaver walked McCarthy to his car and told him: "I don't get it ... what's the real reason you're endorsing Ronald Reagan?"
Deaver said McCarthy looked him directly in the eye and said: "I'll tell you why. It's because he is the only man since Harry Truman who won't confuse the job with the man."
Deaver said McCarthy knew Reagan understood "the enormity of the office he sought, that it was bigger than one man.
"McCarthy saw something in the former actor that millions of Americans would see on Election Day as they happily handed him the keys to the White House," Deaver wrote.