Sunday, July 20, 2008

OBAMA'S STRANGE AFFECTION FOR REAGAN

David Paul Kuhn, Politico - During his bid for the presidency, Obama has repeatedly praised the political gifts of Reagan, the modern president most revered by Republicans, and whose policies are still held in contempt by many leading liberals. A year ago Obama compared Reagan favorably to President Bush in a primary debate while defending his pledge to meet directly with the leaders of hostile nations without preconditions. "Ronald Reagan called [Russia] an evil empire," said Obama, but he also "spoke to the Soviet Union."

In January, Obama came under fire from within his party after casting himself as an emotive heir to Reagan. "Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America," Obama told a Nevada newspaper in January, noting that Reagan "tapped into what people were already feeling, which is: We want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

David Bonior, then John Edwards' campaign manager, charged that Obama was "wrong, frightfully so, in using Ronald Reagan as an example of voters reaching for change. The breadth of change Ronald Reagan brought was crippling for millions of Americans.". . .

"The idea that Ronald Reagan was a unifying figure, that the nation rallied around him, that politics were not divisive in that time, is wrong," said Peter Robinson, who drafted the "tear down this wall" speech. "Ronald Reagan was denounced again and again and again from the beginning of his presidency through to the very end.". . .