The accomplished communication skills and affable public persona of Ronaldo Magnus belie his enigmatic soul. At least one assumes as much from City Journal's Paul Beston in his review of the The Reagan Diaries. Yet, Beston reveals the essence of Reagan's magnetism which trumped his mystique:
The diaries transport the reader back to when the Dow Jones index was below 1,000, few people owned PCs, and the Soviet Union seemed in it for the long haul. Reagan’s descriptions of events are thin, as he passes from one event to the next, rarely stopping to reflect—though he also shows a deeper grasp of policy detail than many readers might expect. Throughout, his voice sounds exactly like the man Americans believed they knew, and this may be the most revelatory aspect of the book. As the diaries make clear, Reagan had what George Will called “a talent for happiness,” and his wit and genial nature come through.
This penchant for happiness brilliantly serves as a treasured piece of wisdom for all who seek leadership. Americans, who daily put their noses to the grindstone, and struggle with personal relationships, crave good news. Reagan provided that news and effortlessly made us feel good about ourselves. He imparted a collective positive self esteem to America. All these pseudo Reaganite candidates today must add the "happiness" quotient to their stump speeches.