This Blog Endorsed by Ronald Reagan!
The staff surrounding any president or presidential candidate spends enormous time and effort making sure that almost any American who meets the Chief Executive gets a memento of their encounter. Young George Allen got his souvenir, a photo of himself with Ronald Reagan, when, as a law student at the University of Virginia, Allen was put in charge of Young Virginians for Reagan. That's the senator's tie to the Gipper and decades later, Allen is using it for all he can.
Jim Webb served Reagan as his Secretary of the Navy and earlier as assistant secretary of defense. As presidents do for any of their appointees, Reagan was happy to say lovely things about Webb. Now Webb, the anti-Iraq war Republican in Virginia's Senate race this fall, is using the Reagan clip in his TV ads. Apparently, Webb is so convinced that Virginia is a rock-solid Republican state that his campaign strategy allows him to go after GOP voters without the slightest regard to what Dems might make of a verbal hug from Reagan.
The Allen camp, rather than tacking to the center and asking just what kind of Democrat this Webb guy really is, chooses to push back with an appeal to the right, ginning up an outraged request from Nancy Reagan for Webb to stop using the late president's words and image on behalf of his nominally Democratic candidacy.
The Webb side responds with this point-by-pointer on the Allen attack.
If comparative closeness to Ronald Reagan is the arbiter of who ought to be elected to the U.S. Senate, Webb is clearly ahead in Virginia. Here, courtesy of that great fount of insider political reporting, NFL.com, is Allen's own account of his great encounter with the Gipper:
"But the one who motivated me to get involved in politics was Ronald Reagan. In fact, all of that comes back to football. When my father was with the Rams, he came in 1966, and that fall was when Ronald Reagan was elected governor. And he would actually come to practices. That's when I got to meet Governor Reagan. And then we moved to Virginia in late '70, '71 and I was telling everyone how great Ronald Reagan was. But I only took one political science class. I had no idea that I would actually get involved in politics. Well, in 1976 Ronald Reagan was running for president and they asked me to be chairman of Young Virginians for Reagan. I said, "Well, I don't know anything about organized politics." They said, "Well, we know you like Reagan." I said, "Of course, but I don't understand the intricacies of politics." They said, "You'll do fine, just tell people why you like Ronald Reagan." I did it, we won Virginia, and lost the national nomination. But that's what got me involved, Ronald Reagan."
Given how low the bar is for claiming an endorsement, I am now pleased to announce that Mr. Ronald Reagan has endorsed Raw Fisher, Potomac Confidential, the column, and any and all of my other endeavors. See, when I was a kid, I collected political buttons and I wrote to the Reagan campaign in 1968 asking for buttons. I received a letter, on official stationery, saying that the governor personally thanked me for my (presumed) support. I rest my case. You are reading the only blog officially endorsed by President Ronald Reagan. I will put this up on our TV ads, as soon as you do your part and send in the dollars we so desperately need to get our message out via television. Thank you.
By Marc Fisher |
September 18, 2006; 7:02 AM ET
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