WHAT MAKES REAGAN RUN? A Political Profile by Joseph Lewis

WHAT MAKES REAGAN RUN? A Political Profile

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Political sex appeal (the boyish, good-guy kind) rather than political savvy, the topsyturvy nature of California politics, and the superb salesmanship of his PR machine won Reagan the governorship and quickly made him the nation's top-ranking conservative Republican. Here Time reporter Lewis focuses on the huge role the image-makers played in Reagan's campaign: they packaged and sold the candidate, but first it was necessary to upgrade him. Spencer-Roberts, a PR firm that specializes in electing Republicans, supplied Ronny with lines, direction, lens control, and, in their own words, ""the citizen-politician image."" They gave him a brain trust which crammed him full of facts, philosophy, and quotable statements, a series of out-of-town tryouts, then placed him stage right. Reporter Lewis sees it as ""a triumph of type easting."" He gives kudos to all the behind-the-scenes technicians: Bill Roberts, Henry Salvatori, BASICO (the think tank). He is critical, but not brutal. The method is one of distance: quotes are from Roberts or from Reagan's published speeches. Why quote a guy mouthing somebody else's lines? How well the book does will depend largely on the Republican convention. How well Reagan does will depend, as ever, on his image-makers.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1968
Publisher: McGraw-Hill