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California's Democratic senators join tributes to Reagan

February 3, 2011 |  2:09 pm

Hey, Ripley, believe this or not, but California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal champion, joined U.S. Senate colleagues Thursday in tributes to Ronald Reagan, a conservative champion, for the centennial of the former president’s birth.

Despite her disagreements with Reagan -- and she had plenty -- Boxer said, "Ronald Reagan showed all of us that you can disagree without being disagreeable and that even if you have sharply different views on some issues, you can still work to find common ground.’’  She praised his “sunny presence.’’

California’s other Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein, offered similar praise. "He was a conservative Republican, but he understood that in order to get anything done, he had to work across the aisle,’’ she said.

Senators from both parties quoted the Great Communicator extensively and recounted their personal experiences with him.

Among centennial events planned this weekend are a fighter-jet flyover, 21-gun salute and a Beach Boys performance at the Reagan library in Simi Valley, and a tribute to the Gipper before Sunday’s Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

House members are expected to deliver Reagan centennial tributes next week.

-- Richard Simon in Washington