Bush Sr. was in the Nixon administration as the head of the CIA. He knew as well as any of the top people in the Nixon administration the problems with Nixon's presidency. When he saw what a love-fest Nixon's funeral was even by people who despised him, he stated "After seeing this, I can't wait to die. Imagine what they'll say about me."
All the rememberences of Reagan will all be sweet now. We'll have to wait awhile before more of the honesty comes back. There were obvious problems with the Reagan administration and it wasn't a golden era as people are making it out to be. There are serious problems with every presidency and Reagan's adminstration was not a sterling example of what a president should be.
Reagan did great things and he made great mistakes. You can say that about almost any president. Even when Bush Jr. dies, they'll all talk lovingly of him too.
Reagan was different in that he was a great speaker and very personable. When he did a TV speech on inflation, he used a dollar bill and compared it with a few coins showing how the US dollar wasn't worth as much as it used to be. Even the democrats were impressed. One democrat said "Carter would have emphasized the wrong words, Ford would have fumbled the coins, and Nixon would have pocketed them".
We should also remember that Reagan created almost half our national debt. When he promised smaller government, he created the largest government in history. He didn't want to touch the S&L scandal and let whoever would succeed him deal with it 2 years later. That extra 2 years cost the country an extra $1.4 trillion. He also refused to deal with the beginning AIDS problems and by the time his successor was in office, it was too late to do anything but put a bandaid on the problem.
However his Star Wars bluff and his anti-communist agenda helped end the cold war. He did create great optimism in this country, but there was also a very long recession started in the beginning of his administration that wasn't ended until 2 years after Clinton got into office.
He was a great cheer leader, a great communicator and a very likable guy. However I don't see him as one of the greatest presidents the US had. We should look at the good and the bad and not just one side if we can. I think that woudl be the best way to remember anyone.