GE is pouring $10 million into the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, as it will be the presenting sponsor of the Gipper’s centennial celebration over the next year. (Jeffrey Immelt speaks at the library in Simi Valley later this week).
As Matt Lewis points out in Politics Daily, GE is in some respects responsible for Reagan’s transition from acting to politics, as the company tapped Reagan in the 1950s to be their chief spokesman and the host of “General Electric Theater,” a job of speaking engagements and pressing the flesh for which he was especially well suited.
“President Reagan said that the second most important eight-year job he ever had were the eight years between 1954 and 1962, when he was GE’s spokesman,” Immelt told Lewis.
GE has taken some heat for the liberal bent of MSNBC, so this could provide some counterweight to the corporate image. But Immelt argues that Reagan’s brand “does stand just above the party.”
NBC U is donating 208 episodes of “General Electric Theater” to the Reagan Library archives, with many programs recently discovered in its vaults.
The GE Reagan site is here, and video below.