- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Reagan: The Movie” has got its star. Years in development, this positive film about the 40th president will feature veteran actor Dennis Quaid in the role of the Gipper, the storyline described by producers as “a journey of a lifetime, the all-American story of the boy from Dixon, Illinois, who grew up to be president and changed a nation and the world.”

Ronald Reagan was a rich, and complex character, and we’ve worked hard to get it right. Dennis is the right man for the job -— he’s naturally an optimistic guy as Reagan was, but there is also depth to his body of work and he will bring that experience to this role,” producer Mark Joseph tells Inside the Beltway.

That should put Reagan fans at ease.

After all, many Hollywood versions of Reagan’s life have not been kind, including a 2015 film project that implied that the two-term president developed dementia while still in the White House — a notion that raised the wrath of Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, who in the past has called Hollywood “a cesspool of human garbage where the left is venerated and the right is eviscerated.”

Things look very promising for this particular movie, an appealing showcase for Reagan’s trademark good cheer, authentic can-do spirit and serious inner mettle. Audiences could be ready for such fare.

“Reagan: The Movie” has a $21 million budget, a solid international distribution deal in place and good pedigree. It is based on “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “God & Ronald Reagan,” both by Reagan historian Paul Kengor. Executive producer Ralph Winter is an industry veteran behind such blockbusters as the “X-Men” and “Star Trek” series, while Mr. Joseph’s many projects include “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Passion of the Christ.” Academy Award winner Jon Voight is set to play the character of “Viktor,” a KGB operative who tracked Reagan back in the glory days.

“The film portrays the life of one of the most consequential men in American history, Ronald Wilson Reagan,” the team says. “He led a revolution for the things he believed in — an ordinary man with extraordinary vision who accomplished extraordinary things.”

The film is scheduled for a release in summer 2019; visit the project at Reaganfilm.com.

BLOOMBERG’S TRUE INTENT

He served as mayor of New York City, ran for president, has $51.8 billion to his name and is the seventh-richest person in America. Now Michael Bloomberg has some big plans for the midterm elections, and they don’t have much to do with the GOP.

“Republicans in Congress have had almost two years to prove they could govern responsibly. They failed. As we approach the 2018 midterms, it’s critical that we elect people who will lead in ways that this Congress won’t — both by seeking to legislate in a bipartisan way, and by upholding the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers set up to safeguard ethics, prevent the abuse of power, and preserve the rule of law. And so this fall, I’m going to support Democrats in their efforts to win control of the House,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement released Wednesday.

“To be clear: I have plenty of disagreements with some Democrats, especially those who seek to make this election about impeachment. Nothing could be more irresponsible. But I believe that ‘We the People’ cannot afford to elect another Congress that lacks the courage to reach across the aisle and the independence to assert its constitutional authority. And so I will support Democratic candidates who are committed to doing both,” he concluded.

Mr. Bloomberg said he would support GOP candidates for governor who supported gun safety, environmental protection and other issues. He also faulted the GOP for “failing to craft bipartisan solutions.” Forbes magazine, meanwhile, describes him as “a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent.”

CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS NEED NEWS THE MOST

Six-in-10 registered voters say they are closely following news the midterms according to the Pew Research Center.

“Republican voters are just as likely as Democratic voters to say they are following election news closely, but this masks ideological differences among these GOP voters. Two-thirds (67 percent) of conservative GOP voters say they follow news about elections and campaigns at least somewhat closely; only half of moderate and liberal Republican voters say the same. There is no ideology gap in attention among Democratic voters,” the poll’s analysts say.

Party loyalty is just about even, the poll found: 90 percent of Democrats say they will support the Democratic candidate for Congress, 91 percent of Republicans will vote for the GOP hopeful.

THE TRUMP FACTOR SWAYS ARIZONA

A new survey of likely voters in Arizona’s Republican Senate primary voters has Rep. Martha McSally getting 39 percent of the vote, besting opponents Joe Arpaio and state Sen. Kelli Ward who have garnered 13 percent and 24 percent of the support, respectively, with 22 percent undecided.

“McSally is starting to tell her story, she’s flush with cash, and she benefited from her pivot to embrace President Trump,” says Mike Noble, chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based company.

“She has campaigned as a strong Trump ally and that strategy appears to be paying off as she takes a solid lead among Trump voters, the largest bloc of voters. McSally has also consolidated the moderate vote as her opponents struggle to appeal to anyone outside their ideological base,” Mr. Noble notes.

“Martha McSally has been able to rocket to the top so far by hugging Trump as hard as she can,” observes Noah Rudnick, a data analyst with the pollster.

The survey of 600 Arizona Republicans was conducted in mid-June.

POLL DU JOUR

⦁ 45 percent of Americans say the Republican Party does a better job on the economy; 36 percent cite the Democratic Party.

⦁ 43 percent of Americans overall say the Republican Party does a better job on the terrorist threat; 32 percent cite the Democratic Party.

⦁ 43 percent overall say the Republican Party does a better job on taxes; 40 percent cite the Democratic Party.

⦁ 41 percent overall say the Republican Party does a better job on the budget deficit; 35 percent cite the Democratic Party.

⦁ 34 percent overall say the Republican Party does a better job on immigration; 48 percent cite the Democratic Party.

⦁ 25 percent overall say the Republican Party does a better job on the environment; 57 percent cite the Democratic Party.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,002 U.S. adults conducted June 5-12.

⦁ Happy talk and comments to [email protected]


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