I agree that will make a compelling ad. But I wouldn’t award the Oscar just yet. That’s because the 2012 GOP primary will quite possibly feature two Reagan-endorsed candidates, and just as many Reagan endorsement ads.
Who is the other fortunate endorsee? Ron Paul. While reporting this Paul profile last year, I paid a visit to his media consultant, Mark Elam, who gave me a tour of his political memorabilia. The collection included a vintage early ’80s videotaped commercial (“The Ron Paul Story”) that featured a glowing endorsement from Reagan. As Elam explained, Paul had been locked in a tough primary battle and his isolationist foreign policy had come under attack from Republican rivals trying to paint him as weak. Paul had been an early Reagan supporter and led the Texas delegation for Reagan at the 1976 Republican convention. So when he needed some help, Reagan was happy to reciprocate. As I describe in the piece, videotapes of the subsequent ad were sent to every Republican in Paul’s district and featured this endorsement from The Gipper:
Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country.