by Steven F. Hayward

From my endless archives, a few samples of how the major media wrote off Ronald Reagan repeatedly:

Newsweek, 1971, “Ronald Reagan’s Slow Fade,” ended with the judgment that “the somber truth is that Sacramento may mark the end of Ronald Reagan’s political road. . .  By every normal measure, Ronald Reagan ought to be entitled to any political future he wants.  A close aide said, ‘The Presidency?  Oh, he’s not interested. Four more years and I think you’ll see Ronald Reagan riding one of his horses off into the sunset.’” And see Stephen Roberts in the New York Times Magazine: “In 1976, the reasoning goes, Reagan would be 65, and too old to run.”  “When a guy’s built on celluloid,” Democratic State Senator George Moscone said, “he goes up fast, but he burns out quickly.” 

After the 1976 campaign, Newsweek offered a reprise, “Into the Sunset”:  ”The concluding line of Reagan’s convention speech — ‘There is no substitute for victory’ — could also turn out to be a epitaph for his own political career.”

And not to be left out, John Coyne wrote in some magazine called National Review that “Reagan seems somewhat out of step with the new political stirrings, a man very much of the Sixties. . . .  For a decade he has been a central symbol of everything that is best in what we call the conservative movement, and if his approach and his ideas are obsolete, then so are those many of us who believe in him.  And it’s never much fun to be a middle-aged anachronism.”

Everyone should apply the appropriate discount to the Palin commentary and analysis they read today.

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