The Son of Reagan

Another interesting item regarding the symbolic politics of interlocking presidential legacies. AlterNet reports that “an emergency team of former Reagan aides has swooped in during these last months of the re-election campaign to help recast George Bush as the true heir of the Gipper”.

To the glee of his political handlers and supporters in the right wing media – the Reagan-izers – Son of Bush is well on his way to reinventing himself as Son of Reagan, just in time for Election Day.

On the last night of the Republican convention, it was clear that W. had finally caught on to one of “Great Communicator’s” best tricks, reading a speech with emotion, if not always comprehension. There was a newfound pathos in his voice, and a new sincerity in the eye. To complete the picture of Reaganesque mystique, a wife emerged at the end in a bright red suit to gaze at him in silent adoration. The only thing missing was the Gipper’s slicked back do, all Grecian formula and hair oil.

Though revved up in this election year, the process of Reaganizing Bush has been long and ongoing, harking back to 1999 when he bought the ranch in Crawford. W. needed the ranch not just to kick back (he could do that just as well in Kennebunkport), but to have the right backdrop for his upcoming political cameos in the 2000 presidential election.

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