The Presidential Daily Brief

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    How Reagan Went From Joke to Icon

    The year was 1976. Ronald Reagan, challenging sitting President Gerald Ford, went from losing five primaries in a row and burying his campaign in debt to winning … and then winning some more. He didn’t win it all that year, but a surprise move from Ford at the convention — calling Reagan up to the stage with no notice to give an improvised speech — ended up catapulting the former actor and future Republican superstar even more firmly into the limelight, and setting him up for his heralded two-term presidency.

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