At least in the very short term, Reagan’s death has already had a positive impact on the Bush campaign. Several negative stories (from Abu Ghraib to the Vice President’s office) have been interrupted. Bush also avoided a close look at his weekend performance in Europe which was less than successful and during a press conference with Chirac, was downright embarrassing. During that press conference, Bush made the following comment in response to a question (in fairness, a bad question) about Abu Ghraib and other issues related to Iraq with the line: “To paraphrase President Kennedy, there’s America, and then there’s Texas.”
One can also see more clearly now the level to which Bush has tried to pattern his presidency after Reagan’s – from tax cutting to an even more overt focus on religion.
The entire Bush campaign homepage has been turned into a tribute to Ronald Reagan.
But the Reagan comparison could be both good and bad for W. As Willie Brown explains: “He will do his best to try and associate himself with Reagan — but it won’t fly. It would be as if you’re comparing a squirrel to an elephant.”