Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Ronald Reagan was no hawk – and certainly no neocon

Ronald Reagan is back. Today more than a thousand people crowded into London's Grosvenor Square to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the former US president. The ceremony, held a few metres from the US embassy, saw the unveiling of a 10ft bronze statue of Reagan, who died in 2004 at 93.

A hundred years on from his birth, seven from his death, and 22 years after he left the Oval Office, the Gipper remains a towering figure in American politics. In recent weeks Republican presidential candidates have been falling over each other to invoke his name and wrap themselves in his mantle, as Bushes I and II are quietly airbrushed from the party's history. Even Barack Obama, after his "shellacking" in November's midterm elections, made it known to reporters that he was reading a biography of Reagan. Oh, and liberal icon John Lennon was, according to his assistant, a secret supporter of America's 40th president.

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