And if one thought Karl Rove & Co. might hesitate to set their man squarely in the shadow of Ronald Reagan for fear of making the Boy King look small, know by now that these people rush in where angels fear to tread. The front page of the Bush/Cheney '04 campaign web site has been replaced by a massive memorial page to Reagan. And as the Boston Globe notes today,
When Bush was asked about Reagan yesterday, he responded in terms largely reflecting his own reelection theme. "Ronald Reagan will go down in history as a great American president because he had a core set of principles from which he would not deviate," Bush said from the G-8 summit in Georgia, during a joint appearance with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan. "He understood that a leader is a person who sets clear goals and makes decisions based upon principles that are etched in his soul." . . .The danger, of course, in officially seizing the Reagan Torch is that Bush might frankly be deemed by the public as not up to the job. A man who falls down as much as Dubya is just as likely to get burned. But let's wait for the opinion polls.
Republicans have been much more explicit in tying Bush to Reagan and, they argue, have far more to gain from the comparison than Democrats do from the contrast.
Reagan, elected twice by sizable margins and popular even as he left office, is often celebrated for his firm stance against Communism and credited for, at a minimum, helping to bring down the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall. Bush casts his own stark message against terrorism in terms of the Cold War.