Rudy and Reagan
LateFinal's Ed Moltzen makes an excellent point about the NR cover:
I suppose if I were in Rudy's camp, I'd try and put out the following. First, it takes
Ronald Reagan had posed with a chimpanzee. As an actor, he even appeared on the silver screen in his underwear. He used to be a Democrat - heck, he was a labor activist. And he had gone through a divorce. In 1980, there were still questions about whether or not Republicans and the country in general would trust a divorced leader. "If he can't commit to a wife, how can he commit to running the country?" Believe it or not, that was a question that swirled around then.
But two events put those questions on the far back burner: the Iran hostage crisis, and the advent of 20-percent interest rates.
Republicans loved that Reagan was a hawk on defense, and they loved that he wanted to slash taxes. Divorce? Bonzo? Trifles. We needed someone to stand up to the Soviets and the Ayatollah.
A few years after he was elected president, when Reagan's own son danced on national television in his underwear, and Reagan and his wife issued very supportive statements, it wound up being no big deal. He was The Gipper. Not even Barry Goldwater had snarky remarks.