January 18, 2008


Obama's Reagan Comparison Sparks Debate (Shailagh Murray, 1/17/08, The Trail)

They've argued health care, free trade, immigration reform. Yucca Mountain? Been there, done that. But here's a debate no one saw coming in the Democratic primary: the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Sen. Barack Obama opened the door when he said the following in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal:

I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times...I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

Ronald REAGAN? The Democrats' mortal enemy, that smiling, supposedly simple-minded actor who expanded the Republican party by wooing all those white, working-class voters?

The Senator demonstrates precious little understanding of The Gipper--who sowed for twenty years the fields he was eventually able to reap and campaigned on the changes he would make rather than trivia like race--but also an acute awareness that he has to broaden his appeal beyond wealthy white people if he's going to win the nomination.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 18, 2008 7:38 AM
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