Capi­tol gets Rea­gan statue

For­mer staffers say the bronze cap­tures the per­son­al­ity of the 40th U. S. pres­i­dent.

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Me­lanie Ma­son me­lanie. ma­son @ latimes. com Twit­ter: @mel­ma­son Times staff writer Kurt Chir­bas con­trib­uted to this re­port.

SACRA­MENTO — Pro­claim­ing, “It’s morn­ing again in Cal­i­for­nia,” Repub­li­can state law­mak­ers and po­lit­i­cal vet­er­ans gath­ered in the Capi­tol on Mon­day to un­veil an 8- foot- tall, 800pound bronze statue of for­mer Cal­i­for­nia Gov. and U. S. Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan.

Join­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tion were of­fi­cials who served in Rea­gan’s pres­i­den­tial ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Ge­orge Shultz.

“Ron­ald Re­gan is alive for all of us be­cause his ideas last,” Shultz said. “Why do the ideas last? Be­cause they worked.”

For­mer U. S. Energy Sec­re­tary John S. Her­ring­ton said the statue, placed in the ro­tunda of the Capi­tol on the base­ment level, cap­tures the essence of the 40th pres­i­dent.

“I want you to look at the face — the face that has the res­o­lute ex­pres­sion of con­vic­tion that Pres­i­dent Rea­gan al­ways had. Look at the out­stretched hand, reach­ing for any­one who be­lieved in free­dom and lib­erty and those who wanted it in Amer­ica,” Her­ring­ton said.

Many other speak­ers struck wist­ful notes about Rea­gan’s time in of­fice, so dif­fer­ent from to­day, with Democrats hold­ing the White House and over­whelm­ing po­lit­i­cal power in Sacra­mento.

“I wish I could stand here and say it’s morn­ing again in Amer­ica,” said Assem­bly­man Scott Wilk ( R- Santa Clarita), evok­ing Rea­gan’s sig­na­ture cam­paign slo­gan. “I can’t. But I can say it’s morn­ing again in Cal­i­for­nia, at least this day, at this par­tic­u­lar time.”

Dou­glas El­mets, chair­man of the Ron­ald Rea­gan Cen­ten­nial Capi­tol Foun­da­tion, said the sculp­ture was funded en­tirely by pri­vate donors, in­clud­ing media mag­nate Ru­pert Mur­doch and for­mer Univi­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Jerry Peren­chio, a ma­jor GOP donor.

A replica of the statue will be in­stalled in the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Foun­da­tion and Li­brary in Simi Val­ley later this year.

“I think we’re go­ing to see, as the years go by, the great­ness of a man,” said Sen. Mike Mor­rell ( R- Ran­cho Cu­ca­monga). “Rea­gan stood at 6 feet 1. Now, he is 8 feet tall.”

Rich Pe­dron­celli As­so­ci­ated Press

A REPLICA of this statue will be in­stalled in the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Foun­da­tion and Li­brary.

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