Richard Cohen's op-ed is sure to ruffle some feathers:
Here is where (Fred Thompson) is so different from Reagan and why the comparison is wrong. Reagan was an ideologue. He had converted from New Deal liberalism to Barry Goldwater and Bill Buckley conservatism. It animated his life or, if not that, then at least his political career. He had a deadly serious reason for going into politics, and it was not, as it seemed to some at the time, a continuation of showbiz by other means. This is why he sought and won the California governorship, and after two terms, he ran for the presidency -- losing the first time out. By then he was no more an actor than Arnold Schwarzenegger is a competitive bodybuilder. Reagan had transformed himself. He was the dominant politician of the conservative moment. He was no pretty face.