It should have been easy. They were battle-tested veterans with long ties to Reagan and even longer ties to the Republican party, men who understood presidential politics as well as any in the country. The backdrop of the campaign was hospitable, with lots of good news to work with: America was at peace, and the nation’s economy, a key factor in any election, was rebounding vigorously after recession. Furthermore, the campaign itself was lavishly financed, with plenty of money for a top-flight staff, travel, and television commercials. And, most important, their candidate was Ronald Reagan, a president of tremendous personal popularity and dazzling communication skills. Reagan has succeed more than any president since John F. Kennedy in projecting a broad vision of America – a nation of renewed military strength, individual initiative, and smaller federal government.