It’s no accident Sarah Palin’s speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention drew comparison to the first Republican politician from central casting, Ronald Reagan. Indeed, Reagan’s own story parallels that of her own Irish Catholic grandfather, Clement James Sheeran, the man whose devout faith guided her mother’s faith journey, who in turn, guided hers.
The two men were born four years apart, Clement James Sheeran in 1907 in Douglas, Washington, Ronald Wilson Reagan in 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. They could easily have been cousins, would likely have been friends had they grown up in the same town.
Both were affable, athletic, and ambitious with Irish Catholic fathers. Both were third generation Irish Catholics who grew up in the small towns of the American Midwest and West.
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