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Palin controversy surrounding Reagan tribute

February 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Another Sarah Palin controversy surrounds the 100th birthday tribute to former President Ronald Reagan.

The president's son Ron Reagan is not mincing words when it comes to his feelings about Palin.

Ever since Ronald Reagan left the political stage, leading Republicans have gone out of their way to embrace the Reagan legacy.

Ron Reagan is on a book tour right now. He's angered many conservatives by writing that his father showed signs of Alzheimer's during his presidency.

Now, he's upset some Republicans again with a critique of one of the party's biggest stars.

Ever since Reagan left the political stage, leading Republicans have gone out of their way to embrace the Reagan legacy. Among them is Sarah Palin, who last week wrote in the USA Today that Reagan was quote,

"America's lifeguard, President Reagan held up a mirror to the American soul to remind us of our exceptionalism."

Palin headlines a Reagan birthday celebration Friday at the former Western White House in Santa Barbara where Reagan once rode.

That's not sitting well with Reagan's son, Ron. He told the Associated Press Friday that quote,

"Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically. She's doing mostly what she does to make money and keep her name in the news."

What about a possible Palin presidency? The left-leaning son of the right-leaning former president says Palin is quote,

"Not a serious candidate for president and never has been."

"As far as these Republican presidential candidates, they are going to have to do it on their own," said Reagan biographer Lou Cannon. "Ronald Reagan is not going to help them."

Cannon said searching for the next Ronald Reagan is a waste of time because he's one of a kind.

"Sarah Palin is part of the conversation," said Cannon. "She's made herself part of the conversation and it's up to the voters and the people of Iowa to decide, not to me."

Sarah Palin was not available for comment. Ronald Reagan would have turned 100-years-old on Sunday. His presidential museum in Simi Valley opens several brand new exhibits to the public on Monday.


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