Only the greatest cynic could have failed to be moved by Ronald Reagan’s last presidential act – all apparently planned by Reagan, from the participants to the song selection. Television certainly played its role and then some and helped to bring hundreds of thousands to the streets of Washington and California.
Thatcher was the best during the morning service while the Bush speeches were surprisingly forgettable. As the sun set in perfect Hollywood fashion, the family took center stage. The remarks were largely personal and/or religious. But Ron Reagan did seem to slip in a very direct critique of the man who currently sits in the Oval Office:
“Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.”
A profound difference. A profound point.