Biographer: Reagan kept the ‘Swamp’ he hated out of sight, out of mind

by WorldTribune Staff, February 5, 2024

Donald Trump made it known immediately and clearly when he first ran for president how he felt about Washington, D.C. by nicknaming it the “Swamp.”

“But no modern president more than Ronald Reagan meant it as much and showed the city his backside as often,” Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard noted in a Feb. 5 preview of the soon-to-release book “The Search for Reagan: The Appealing Intellectual Conservatism of Ronald Reagan”.

“Reagan left town whenever he could. He was at his California ranch for one year out of his presidency. He and Nancy went to Camp David almost every weekend. They got out of Dodge whenever they could. He didn’t like Washington. He didn’t like what it represented,” Reagan biographer Craig Shirley told Bedard.

“You know, he came back to Washington, I think, twice: once to accept the Medal of Freedom from [then-President George H.W.] Bush and the other for his lying-in-state in the U.S. Capitol,” Shirley added.

Bedard notes that Shirley “writes off the events out-of-towners love about Washington, such as the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, appearances on Sunday talk shows, and lobbyist-funded Georgetown cocktail parties.”

He described the correspondents’ dinner as “where the press and political elites meet in a low-rent feast of mutual admiration.” At social events, he wrote that many can “be seen rubbernecking, seeking out someone more important than the poor schlub standing in front of them.”

Shirley wrote of the ruthlessness political celebrities engage in to get on TV: “The more one appeared on television, the better. A criminal record, being indicted, being unfaithful, or being otherwise unsavory were no barriers to Washington celebrityhood.”

Shirley’s latest of five books on the 40th president, published by Post Hill Press, is set for release Feb. 13.

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