Packaging the Presidency

How to coordinate campaigning and commercials

Flick the television set on these past few weeks and what did you see? A cinemascopic shot of a bunting-bedecked stage set between sunny crowds and smiling skies. Then a closeup of Ronald Reagan, standing against a blue backdrop (always blue) and delivering in patented style (bob of the head, hint of a grin) a homey Americanism. Cut to the faces of his listeners, some aglow in admiration, others damp with tears. A band bursts into melody, balloons sail heavenward, and cheers erupt from a thousand throats.

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