Friday, June 11, 2004
Highway 101 in Camarillo, CA at a Standstill for the Reagan Procession (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta)
I'm not a Republican but I have to admit the entire week of the Reagan remembrance has been amazing. Today, I missed the ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral, but I was able to witness the casket returning to California, and the final ceremony at the Reagan Presidential Library. The images of the final procession from Point Mugu to nearby Simi Valley were amazing, roadways lined with applauding crowds and a busy Southern California freeway came to a stop.
The sunset burial ceremony was staged as well as any Golden Age Hollywood movie, with the hero saying goodbye as the sun went down. And it would be hard for anyone, regardless of political affiliation, and not feel for Nancy Reagan during the ceremony.
I thought each of Reagan's children gave a good speech, but Ron Reagan Jr.'s will be the one speech most talked about. Ron Jr. talked about his father's faith, then said that while his father lived after being shot, Reagan believed that it was God keeping him alive so that he could continue to do good, but he believed that it was a responsibility, not a mandate, and there is a difference.
That sounded like a swipe at the current resident of the White House. It wouldn't be a suprise, considering that a few years ago Ron Jr. said "My father crapped bigger ones than George Bush."
Along the lines of potential tension between the Reagan and Bush camps, John Hoke points out a story in Capital Hill Blue: Republicans Upset Over Bush Plan to Use Reagan Images, Speeches in Campaign Ads. Personally, I think running ads featuring Reagan so soon is a good way to drive Bush's poll numbers down even farther, since Bush pales in comparison to the adulation the Gipper gets. We'll see if the ads run.
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