Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Miraculous Image Rehabilitation of Former Republican Presidents

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

It’s an evergreen media strategy for disparaging the sitting GOP executive.

When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, many in the media considered him a dangerous extremist.

Some reporters warned that Reagan courted nuclear war and would tank the economy. He certainly was not like the gentleman Republican and moderate ex-president Gerald Ford.

But by 1989, the media was fond of a new adjective: “Reaganesque.” Reagan in retirement and without power was seen as a senior statesman.

Not so for his once-centrist and better-liked vice president, George H.W. Bush, who suddenly was reinvented as a fool and a ninny in comparison.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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