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Obama Compares self to Reagan: Suicide or Smart?

In an interview Monday, January 14th with the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board, Presidential candidate Barack Obama compared the type of presidency he hopes to have with that of former President Ronald Reagan. Many have taken these remarks out of context, including his opponent Hillary Clinton during the Debates on this past Monday. This was one of the main topics for the first 20 minutes of the smackdown. Here are both the pull quote and a link to the entire video.

“I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what is different is the times. I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. 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. They felt like with all the excesses of the 60’s and the 70’s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think he 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.”

Yes he could have used many different parts of Reagan’s presidency to praise and hope to achieve. Some have mentioned Reagan’s economic plan or ending the cold war “without firing a shot”. However, Obama is not speaking about policy here (that’s not really his thing). He is speaking about transformative leadership. Transforming the lines between Democrats and Republicans in order to lead the country towards a better tomorrow. I know how idealistic and hopeful. But isn’t that what we loved about Reagan? I think many Republicans will think so, and it doesn’t change his message to Democrats either. This guy may be smarter than we are willing to believe.

  1. A Concerned Libertarian says:

    Better yet, make sure that your girlfriend drinks so she can stand to look at you…

  2. A Concerned Libertarian says:

    Ted…you are one ugly mother fucker. Did you know that?


  3. Niedermeyer says:

    The subtitle of this post is a question, so here’s an answer: Smart. The Democrats desperately need a Reagan-like figure to rebrand them as “America’s Party” now that the Republicans are so lost at sea. The Reagan mythos transcends any real differences in policy, it is merely the sunny optimism that America needs from time to time to convince itself that the lofty ideals of its founders are not irreparably lost to moral quagmire of empire. Like it or not, Obama represents “change” in ways that no other candidate can at a time when the country really just needs to believe in itself again… and my guess is that when his term(s) are over (yes I think he will win the election) he will leave a legacy which will repudiate much of what he says he stand for now (much like Reagan did), because he will have served his purpose, namely making the credit markets work again.

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