As a nation, we say good-bye and thank-you to an effective and mostly well-liked president – President Ronald Reagan, who died Saturday at age 93.
At first, we weren't sure of a Hollywood actor as a presidential candidate, but Reagan won many over with his confident and congenial demeanor. That's probably where the acting came in handy.
His move from acting to politics also makes us realize that anyone of any experience has access to the office of the president. Not previously being a part of the political scene set him apart from other politicians. Perhaps we unconsciously had more trust in him because of his disassociation.
His age of 69 in office encouraged us that age is not a factor of an effective president. He was the oldest president ever elected.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano has declared Friday, June 11, 2004 a statewide day of mourning for Reagan. While state offices will remain open, Gov. Napolitano is encouraging Arizonans to mark Friday as their day to remember the former president. The governor plans to attend Mr. Reagan's state funeral in Washington, D.C. that day.
"President Reagan's passing has touched us all, and I encourage Arizonans to take time on Friday to pay their respects," Napolitano said.
Any president has those who are in his camp and those who are not. Reagan made us believe he liked giving press conferences – which in essence is not talking to the press but rather through the press to American citizens. He didn't let the press rattle him. As an actor, he probably learned early in his career that people either love him or hate him. He didn't take it personally, which is how he appeared to handle politics. He focused on what was going right rather than what was going wrong. Reagan was forever the optimist, seeing a better future for America in the midst of dire circumstances. He was both tender and tough.
Reagan did the office of the president proud. With him dies an era of his brand of decency.