Sunday, August 19, 2007

Remember When?

Michael K. Deaver, who arranged some of Ronald Reagan’s most memorable photographic backdrops for public consumption and privately gave the president blunt, sometimes contrarian advice, died yesterday at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 69.

Mr. Deaver was widely known for creating photo ops that showed Reagan atop the Great Wall of China, at the cliffs of Normandy and filling sandbags to show concern after a Louisiana flood. And he played a central role in planning Reagan’s funeral in 2004; the last visual was burial as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

He formed a hugely successful lobbying firm, Michael K. Deaver & Associates, whose clients included Canada, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, TWA and Philip Morris. He posed for the cover of Time in 1986, sitting in the back seat of a limousine with a telephone at his ear, the Capitol in the background.

But the accompanying story was headlined "Cashing In on Top Connections," and in 1987 he was convicted on three counts of perjury for lying to a House subcommittee and a federal grand jury about efforts to use the White House in his lobbying efforts.

Reagan’s diary, published this summer, made it clear that just before leaving office in 1989 he considered pardoning his old friend, "but Mike has passed the word that he won’t accept a pardon."
When perjury mattered in Washington, and people turned down pardons. Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?


Blogger Dave S. said...

Very cynically speaking, "Fell on sword for Reagan" probably looked pretty good on his resume; a pardon would have diminished it.

8/20/2007 9:53 AM  
Blogger David S./ Southern Calif. said...

I can appreciate that in many ways the Reagan era was simpler, and far less marked by unconstitutional power grabbing than this one, but this post seems a little curious to me. It seems to celebrate the actions of an admitted felon, and implicitly celebrates an administration which saw fit to fund an illegal war through unconstitutional and illegal means, then quietly saw to it that its right wing judges made sure the culprits got off with little more than a wrist slap. Oliver North's arrogant performance before Congress was not entirely unlike Gonzales's. I suppose the despicable pardoning of others who were just as guilty has to be lain at the door of Bush 41, not Reagan.

8/21/2007 1:07 PM  

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