The Magic and the Message

After 20 years in politics, Reagan is revved up for a last hurrah

The script is plotted down to the hour, computers are spinning out electoral-vote permutations, in-house pollsters are tracking every nuance of the electorate's mood. Yet for all the number crunching and tactical machinations, the Republicans' re-election strategy is not conceptually elaborate: in essence, it consists of two words—Ronald Reagan. The President's men have good reason to believe they can win simply by flying him to the right places at the right times and letting him wow the voters.

The candidate is game. As he is nominated this...

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