Ronald Reagan is at the Republican National Convention once again — if merely in spirit.
As the final session began Thursday night, a nostalgic Reagan video backed by music and sentimental imagery summoned the way the conservatives have framed his legacy. "As we continue our journey we think of those who traveled before us," Reagan's voice said over clips of war veterans and families. In a montage of images that ranged from space shuttles to Sandra Day O'Connor, his narrative was repackaged and re-offered to conservatives 23 years after he left office and eight years after he died. "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," Reagan said once again Thursday night.
There's no more potent image for the Republicans to summon, of course. This is a man who is the most towering icon of modern conservatism. When Reagan is brought out, it's always about imagery and implied GOP renewal — about a "springtime of hope" and the notion of America as the shining city on the hill.
Then the music swelled and faded, the video ended and two fresh speakers walked on stage: Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista.
— Ted Anthony — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/anthonyted
EDITOR'S NOTE — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.