A consumer appetite for creepy presidential relics is hardly new -- or rare.
Ronald Reagan is often portrayed in hagiographic terms -- as the patron saint of the modern Republican party, to his partisans, or mockingly as "Saint Ronnie," a huckster prophet, to his detractors.
The comparison will get a bit more literal with the sale of a true medieval-style relic. A British company, PFC Auctions, is currently entertaining bids for a vial of the late president's blood; the bidding closes on Thursday and, as of writing, was approaching $12,000. The blood was collected in 1981, when deranged would-be assassin John Hinckley shot the president in Washington, D.C. The sale has elicited predictable disgust and outrage, both in the public and on the part of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. "If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," John Heubusch, the foundation's executive director, said in a statement. (It has also elicited equally predictable jokes: "Is it too late for the vial of Reagan blood to run for the GOP nomination?" "The appropriate thing to do with the Reagan blood would be to trickle it down on some poor people.")