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Obama vacation book list: Is he reading up on bipartisanship?

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Hugh Gentry/Reuters

(Read caption) President Obama plays golf yesterday in Hawaii; when he's not on the fairway, his vacation reading is headlined by "President Reagan: Role of a Lifetime," a biography of the Republican icon.

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News Alert! This just in: President Obama on his Hawaii vacation may be engaging in activities hinting that he’ll take a more bipartisan approach to governance in the new year.

OK, we’re reaching a little bit here, but reading is a big thing for Mr. Obama when he relaxes, and his book list apparently has on it at least one very interesting title: “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime,” by Lou Cannon.

This is not just a book about a president beloved by just about every member of the modern GOP – it’s probably the best Reagan book yet written. (Yes, there was an official biography undertaken by the very competent historian Edmund Morris, but that ended up as a seminovelistic account that most reviewers found odd.)

Mr. Cannon, a journalist, first covered Reagan when he ran for California governor in 1966, and then followed him to Washington. If Obama actually reads this book, instead of a George Pelecanos mystery or old “OK!” magazines that are lying around his rented mansion, he’ll learn a lot about Reagan’s mastery of the style of the presidency – and how that mastery of style becomes substance.


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