John McCaslin

That was Michael Reagan doing a perfect impersonation of his father, Ronald Reagan, while appearing at the Heritage Foundation to discuss reviving the Reagan agenda in America.

Given the enthused audience of former Reagan hands, Mr. Reagan didn't stop there, telling tales and cracking jokes about growing up in the Reagan household. At one point, he recalled an old Hollywood rumor that his father was approached to play Rick Blaine in the classic movie "Casablanca," but turned down the role.

The younger Mr. Reagan recalled hearing somebody comment, "Had Ronald Reagan accepted the role of Rick in the movie, Ingrid Bergman may have decided to stay."

The event was organized by Reagan Alumni Association Executive Director Lou Cordia and included former Virginia Lt. Gov. John H. Hager, former Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Miller and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley.

"Casablanca," if we might digress, is one of President-elect Barack Obama's two favorite movies, the other being "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."


A representative of Eureka College has let it be known that Mikhail Gorbachev will be visiting Ronald Reagan's alma mater in Illinois this spring to talk about the late president's influence in the world.

The 77-year-old Mr. Gorbachev, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was the last general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was the Soviet Union's last head of state until its 1991 dissolution.

Which isn't to say that Mr. Gorbachev doesn't continue to have revolution running through his veins. During a visit last autumn to New Orleans, he surprised everybody, including President Bush, by promising to lead a local revolution if the city's faulty levees weren't rebuilt by 2011.

"We will be coming back," he told a cheering crowd. "If this pledge is not fulfilled, we will start a new revolution in New Orleans."


Be advised that the federal government will lose nearly one-third of its work force over the next five years as baby boomers retire.

So it's not surprising that on top of the list of advice for President-elect Barack Obama from the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service is a "national call to government service" - making people issues a presidential priority.

"People are policy," says Max Stier, partnership president. "Tackling these important human resource issues is key to President-elect Obama fully realizing his administration's policy goals."


Not all Republicans in Washington are busy packing boxes. After all, if President-elect Barack Obama really is able to rebuild America, he's going to need a good cement man.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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