Who the next Ronald Reagan is and whether she wears heels, glasses, and a smile and comes from Alaska is the subject of much debate. Two people who should know first-hand, Ron and Michael Reagan, have rather opposite views of the matter.
Ron Reagan, the President’s youngest son with Nancy Reagan, was very dismissive of the idea that Sarah Palin was anything like his father. According to the Daily Caller:
“‘Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically,’ Ron Reagan, a liberal political pundit and former radio talk show host, told the Associated Press. ‘She’s doing mostly what she does to make money and keep her name in the news.’
“‘She is not a serious candidate for president and never has been,’ added Reagan.”
It should be noted that Ron, unlike his more famous father, is both an atheist and a liberal. Moreover, he was estranged from President Reagan for most of his adult life. Ron Reagan has also just published a book, “My Father at 100,” which has proved controversial due to a claim that President Reagan suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s while in the White House. This claim has been universally refuted by virtually every doctor and person who knew Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s diaries, kept meticulously throughout his presidency, reveals a subtle and intelligent mind throughout the eight years of the Reagan administration.
Ronald Reagan’s other son, adopted by Reagan and his first wife Jane Wyman, had a different view of Palin at first impression, when she entered the world stage as a vice presidential candidate. Reacting to Palin’s 2008 convention speech, Michael Reagan said at the time:
“I’ve been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we’d never see his like again because he was one of a kind.
“I was wrong!
“Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he’s a she.
“And what a she!
“In one blockbuster of a speech, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resurrected my Dad’s indomitable spirit and sent it soaring above the convention center, shooting shock waves through the cynical media’s assigned spaces and electrifying the huge audience with the kind of inspiring rhetoric we haven’t heard since my Dad left the scene.”
The irony is that Sarah Palin, while certainly using Reagan as a role model in common with most modern Republican pols, also suggests that it is fruitless to look ahead for the next Reagan. He was one of a kind, she suggested at a speech given at a Young America’s Foundation dinner in honor of the Reagan Centennial. After all, Reagan had not become the world historical figure he was until sometime after his presidency was concluded. The “next Reagan” would have to serve as President and do great things and then be admired by all, something no one can do before they do it.
Sources: Is Sarah Palin the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan? Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, October 9th, 2010
Ron Reagan: Sarah Palin ‘a soap opera’, Laura Donovan, The Daily Caller, February 6th, 2011
Welcome Back, Dad, Michael Reagan, Human Events, September 4th, 2010
Sarah Palin Speaks at Young American’s Foundation Banquet at the Reagan Ranch, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, February 5th, 2011