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Obama as a Reagan-Like Figure


Barack Obama speaks at the University of Nevada. (Bloomberg News).

By Jose Antonio Vargas
If the confused but nevertheless spirited reaction in the blogosphere, left and right, is any indication, Sen. Barack Obama is going to have plenty of explaining to do regarding his comments to the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board in the days ahead. He told them:

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.

The meeting was filmed, and the resulting YouTube video, "Obama prefers Ronald Reagan over Bill Clinton," has been viewed more than 33,000 times since it was uploaded yesterday. Many interpreted it as a direct jab at Clinton. Critics on the left saw it as Obama presenting himself, yet again, as an iconic figure. Erica Jong wrote in the Huffington Post: "So Mr. Obama is not such a new style politician after all. He's just a politician -- invoking Ronnie Reagan as if he were God Almighty, using his name as code as the Repugnicans do, trying to pump himself up as a man of the people by mentioning this total fraud as a hero."

But some conservative commentors found the comment accurate -- and flattering. Pejman Yousefzadeh, blogging on Red State, wrote, "Not a bad statement, but oh, how the Clintons are going to beat you up for this." To which a Red State commentor responded: "I don't think the Clintons really want to get into a substantive debate over this point. Bill Clinton was a disaster for the Democratic Party while Reagan helped the GOP control the White House for 12 years. The Democrats would love to have a Reagan like figure and that sure isn't Hillary."

Many on the liberal blogs deemed Obama's comments nothing short of disastrous and used them as another opportunity to bash a candidate from whom they have become increasingly estranged. Wrote Big Tent Democrat on MyDD: "Obama simply misunderstands how Reagan achieved that transformational change . . . he ran a partisan, ideological divisive campaign that excoriated Democratic values and trumpeted GOP values. He also race baited. Obama is running a post-partisan, nonideological campaign that is bereft of defenses of Democratic values and ideas. He is running an anti-Reagan campaign. His argument is simply ahistorical. . .In short, Obama STILL does not get it."

Will Obama get asked about this during Monday's Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.? Stay turned.

Posted at 3:43 PM ET on Jan 18, 2008  | Category:  The Debate Rages On...
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Posted by: mkhsz yfqg | May 9, 2008 1:12 PM

OK, I actually live in Nevada and have followed this entire tempest in a teapot up close and personal.

Senator Obama clearly didn't endorse Presidents Reagan or Nixon or the Republicans. This interview was given in the context of an overall argument for change and how certain personalities rode to office on pledges to replace gridlock with vision, regardless as to how good or bad that vision may have been.

The problem I have with all of this is the public's obsession with parsing every sentence a public figure makes and playing with the context until up means down. All we really achieve is teaching politicians to avoid being forthright and expressing their honest opinions until everything they might say has been vetted by PR experts and "neutralized." You simply don't get good leaders that way.

No matter who the candidate is, I respect the person who still has the guts to call it as he/she sees it. Similarly those candidates who want to twist the other's statements through some kind of Karl Rove deception operation leave me with the feeling that they don't have the answers and feel a desperate need to sling mud.

Also dishonesty, in whatever form, is still dishonesty.

I may not agree with all that Senator Obama says but I sure appreciate a candidate who is still willing to express himself and not just be another talking head.

Posted by: willis | January 24, 2008 12:04 PM

Hillary's jab at Obama over his nod to Reagan is pretty smug, considering she herself listed Ronald Reagan as one of her favorite Presidents.

Posted by: katefranklin60 | January 20, 2008 11:21 PM

Well my goodness fellow Americans. The excuses for Obama's admiration of Reagan and "The party of ideas" Republicans just gets scarier and scarier.

I'm sorry bluflame1225, but your post was so disturbing that I feel it's important for our nation that a few of its more salient points be analyzed. This is nothing personal fellow citizen. You are most likely a well meaning American, but I believe you have been woefully misled, and your rational escapes me.

So here it goes.


"I agree with many of the arguments being made on the subject of Obama's comments about the Regan and Clinton administrations. Regan did lead the country to change at a time when the country was disillusioned with the prior administration. ..."
Posted by: bluflame1225 | January 19, 2008 02:03 PM


So did Adolph Hitler. Your argument is non-sequitur.
ST


"Whether or not the Regan era is known for it's political justice the Clinton administration does not have a particularly clean record. ..."
Posted by: bluflame1225 | January 19, 2008 02:03 PM


What? You completely discount the crimes against our Constitution committed by Reagan, and the fact that he started us on the road to tyranny we now travel, and then simply launch an attack on Bill Clinton? Who has nothing to do with this debate? Just like the right wing does?

Yikes!!!
ST


"... The message of a candidate while seeking office does not represent what they will do in office. It is our job to ensure that these persons that we elect represent us. ..."
Posted by: bluflame1225 | January 19, 2008 02:03 PM


OK, now here is where you completely lost me. Honestly.

How can we fulfill our job to ensure that the people we elect represent us, if as you state in the immediately previous statement that "The message of a candidate while seeking office does not represent what they will do in office"?

Now fellow citizen, that is a truly frightening statement, especially when it is emoted so casually.

To say that a candidate should say whatever it takes to get elected, and then do something completely different once they are, goes against all our founding fathers stood for.

While indeed many politicians have lied during elections just to gain office so they could do something else, as you're insinuating Obama is doing, these politicians are to be appalled, despised, and discounted.

Not held up as a model for all others.

I mean, just because someone breaks into your house and gets away with it doesn't mean that burglary is good.

I must ask in all sincerity, what has happened to our basic American values of truth, freedom, and justice, when even the purported last bastions of its defense lay down their arms to sleep?
ST


"... Yes, Knowing a persons voting record, speeches and actions are important but what is more important is how we act to get them to correct the mistakes they make in representing us. Mere voting is no longer enough."
Posted by: bluflame1225 | January 19, 2008 02:03 PM


As I said before, you had already lost me by this point and your ending statements simply solidified my confusion.

Fellow citizen, you are literally making no sense at all. If you've already elected somebody knowing that they were just saying things during their campaign that they weren't going to do, then what makes you think you're going to "act" in some way to correct "mistakes" which you've already fully accepted?

From your statements it would seem that you're advocating electing anybody, no matter what they say, and then protesting against them once they get in office hoping they will do the right thing.

I am genuinely baffled by your train wreck of logic.

Please stop and think about what you are saying, and what you are doing. You mention civic responsibility, and then advocate the complete abdication of it.

As Americans we should demand that our representatives be honest, and just, and humane. As Americans we must always assure that our representatives do not violate the bounds of their lawful duties and authority, by justly punishing them if they do.

American principals are not difficult to understand fellow citizens. Please, all of you, rediscover them.
ST


"Never forsake humanity for inhumanity, despite all disguise."
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 19, 2008 4:46 PM

I agree with many of the arguments being made on the subject of Obama's comments about the Regan and Clinton administrations. Regan did lead the country to change at a time when the country was disillusioned with the prior administration. Whether or not the Regan era is known for it's political justice the Clinton administration does not have a particularly clean record. The Clinton administration carried out many policies the aided the Republican's hold on American Politics today. The Clinton administration is responsible for dismantling the welfare system for the poor and leaving the welfare system for the rich intact. This lead to President Bush expanding the the welfare system for the rich. It was the Clinton administration that signed into law the Defense of Marriage act. It was during the Clinton administration that the military's politics of de-emphasizing sexual misconduct by male soldiers against female soldiers came full circle. All adminstrations have their problems and mistakes.

As A side note, I want to talk about CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY. If you do not like the message of a candidate do not vote for him or her, but realize that civic responsibility goes beyond voting. The message of a candidate while seeking office does not represent what they will do in office. It is our job to ensure that these persons that we elect represent us. Yes, Knowing a persons voting record, speeches and actions are important but what is more important is how we act to get them to correct the mistakes they make in representing us. Mere voting is no longer enough.

Posted by: bluflame1225 | January 19, 2008 2:03 PM

Goodnight fellow citizens. I will leave you with the words of one who never cared about politics, only people.

May goodness bless our great nation.
ST


"Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 19, 2008 12:43 AM

Good luck with Edwards : )
Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2008 12:12 AM


I know, I know. But many others and I will not allow American freedom to die, without even a whimper.

This is one American that McCain, or Obama, or Hillary, or whomever will most likely become our next Dictator, will have to drag kicking and screaming into the torture chambers of their secret prisons.

Now I know I'll probably last all of about 5 seconds, but it will be the loudest 5 second scream ever!
ST


"And so together we shared the fate of all the failed democracies before us, joining those pitiful beings who had held the light of freedom in one hand, and put it out with the other."
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 19, 2008 12:21 AM

Good luck with Edwards : )

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2008 12:12 AM

"I saw it, SearingTruth, thanks for the thoughtful comments. Back on topic: http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/2325872"
Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 11:42 PM


Fantastic. Thanks for the link. It's amazing that Hillary would list Ronald Reagan as one her favorite Presidents also. Yikes!!!

And in the interest of full disclosure, I finally made my decision yesterday to go with Edwards and joined his campaign, so I can no longer claim to be an unbiased bystander.

I held out as long as I could for a viable Independent candidate that could give me some assurance that they truly cared about restoring our Constitution, but that's evidently not going to happen so I had to choose someone, and Edwards seems like the only hope we have.

Of course, I could never vote for Hillary because she is truly a politicians politician, and would simply keep us forever spinning on the same merry-go-round.
ST


"Our representatives had become politicians, precluding all hope of justice."
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 19, 2008 12:05 AM

I finally found it, lylepink -- here's a link and story:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/familytree/545462,BSX-News-wotrees09.stng

If he wins the White House, Barack Obama would by no means be the first President with half-siblings. Bill Clinton and Franklin Delano Roosevelt each had a half-brother.

But Obama's immediate family would certainly be one of the more complex in Presidential history.

He has eight half-siblings -- seven of them living -- by four other marriages or relationships of his parents -- his father, Barack Obama Sr., had four children by a woman he married in Kenya before his 1960 marriage to Obama's mother in Hawaii. Two of those children -- son Abongo (Roy} and daughter Auma -- were born before Barack Obama Jr.

After Obama Sr. divorced Obama's mother in 1963, he married another American woman he brought to Kenya and had two more sons -- Mark and David, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. That marriage ended in divorce, after Obama Sr. resumed his relationship with his first wife.

The elder Obama had two other sons -- Abo and Bernard -- by his first wife, though Obama wrote in his memoirs that there is some question whether another man actually fathered Bernard.

Obama Sr. later had another son, George, by a woman he was involved with but apparently did not marry.

As for Obama's mother, the former Stanley Ann Dunham, she had a daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng, from a second marriage to Lolo Soetoro.

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2008 12:05 AM

"...--- Why do 'we' resent being talked to as if we had the capacity for knowledge. ..."
Posted by: PulSamsara | January 18, 2008 11:14 PM


Yikes!!!

Here we go again.

If you don't agree with Obama, you just don't have the capacity for knowledge.

My goodness gracious.

I just have to give the Obama supporters some advice.

Telling people that your candidate is great and they are just too stupid to recognize it will get you nowhere.

However, here's how you can get somewhere with the constituency you seek. And I'm not being facetious or sarcastic, this is really how I believe you can get as far as possible with your candidate.

Just come out and acknowledge the truth that Obama is a center-right candidate, because like I said it's not going to do you any good at all to keep calling those who recognize that idiots.

A center-right candidate, who cares nothing about the restoration of our civil liberties or Constitution might actually win the Presidency. But not if they pretend to be any kind of Democrat, in which case they would be expected to harbor at least some concern about the loss of our democracy and the rule of law.

In fact, I believe a McCain/Obama ticket, or Obama/McCain ticket, would have a very good chance of winning, and solidifying once and for all the destruction of our great nation.

But hey, at least you would win.
ST


"I wanted only a freedom for all that I had coveted for myself."
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 11:42 PM

I saw it, SearingTruth, thanks for the thoughtful comments. Back on topic: http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/2325872

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 11:42 PM

Who are the defenders of the status quo ? Is that you ?
Reagan did spawn a 'sea change' in American politics.
Obama hopes to spawn a new 'sea change'. Change based on the ideals of unity - not division (and certainly not modeled after Reagan's ideas)
How can anyone look at the state of modern politics and the outlook for our country guided by our current stautus quo - how can this 'sea change' of unified working government not make sense.
Anyone who has paid any attention knows what Obama is speaking of about the Republican Party being guided by 'ideas' for the past 15 years... you don't have to subscribe to those ideas but they are, none the less, ideas. The same could be said of the Democratic party of the late 50's and into the 60's - Kennedy Idealism. Both of these movements ran their course and were watered down by time. That explains the state of the Democratic Party in the 70's and 80's. It also explains the 'washed out' state of the Republican Party today.
--- Why do 'we' resent being talked to as if we had the capacity for knowledge. That is how Barack Obama is speaking to America... as if 'we can' understand. Why would we sell ourselves short and believe that we are past our zenith... that we are a declining people. Come on people... Now is the time to show some strength of character.

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 18, 2008 11:14 PM

Thanks; SearingTruth; I would also love your input on the following thread:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/01/18/trying_to_heal_a_rift_in_new_h_1.html#comments
Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 10:49 PM


OK. I just posted my answer on the above thread. I didn't want to cross post so I didn't post it again on the McCain thread. You can always post a link to it from there if you want.


And now back to the topic at hand.

Does anyone disagree that Obama was incredibly vague, and even seemed to backtrack on the health care issue, when asked about his "top 3 priorities" as President?
ST


"Simple answers do not exist in a world of great complexity. We must sacrifice our instinctive desire for the quick and easy to instead embrace the enduring and efficacious, or we, as a species, will not survive."
SearingTruth


A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 11:13 PM

Thanks; SearingTruth; I would also love your input on the following thread:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/01/18/trying_to_heal_a_rift_in_new_h_1.html#comments

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 10:49 PM

JakeK: All the information is at these. sites

Posted by: lylepink | January 18, 2008 10:40 PM

Welcome back, SearingTruth : )

Just curious, what were his top 3 priorities? Did you see the new abortion threads?
Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 09:47 PM

If you go to the video at http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080115/VIDEO/80115026
and go to about 34:00 minutes you can hear him yourself, but here's the summary:

1. Vague non-committal statements about "changing the mission" in Iraq.

2. An initial strong statement to implement health care for everyone in the first year, which quickly rambles off into much more vague statements that seem to contradict his initial declaration.

3. Vague statements about the energy problem.

And no, I haven't seen the new abortion threads. However, if you really want to know my position let me know where you would like me to post and I'll tell you. :)
ST


"A principle, sacrificed, is rarely resurrected."
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 10:15 PM

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 9:51 PM

Welcome back, SearingTruth : )

Just curious, what were his top 3 priorities? Did you see the new abortion threads?

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 9:47 PM

OK fellow citizens, I see that we're still hearing the same excuses from the Obama camp, and they seem to be divided into roughly three categories:

1. People haven't watched the full video, and if they only would all would be well.

2. People who think Obama is unqualified to be President, especially given his recent statements, simply lack the intelligence to recognize his greatness, or are so seething with hatred for Republicans that they don't recognize his greatness.

3. In any case Obama wasn't really admiring Reagan or the Republican Party with his repeated statements of admiration, he was just performing a "scholarly review" or perhaps some "super intelligent political ploy" to win Republican and Independent voters.


Well I'm an Independent voter. And I've watched the whole video, repeatedly, and it just got worse every time. I even transcribed word for word his declaration that the Republican Party was the "Party of ideas" over the last 10,15 years.

And the single most disturbing part of his 49 minute sometimes rambling dissertation was that he did not mention once, not even once, the road to inhumanity and tyranny Reagan started us on, or any of the numerous crimes against our Constitution and humanity committed under Bush and the Republicans.

And so naturally, the question of bringing them to justice never even came up.

And he was even asked what his top 3 priorities would be as President, and the Constitution didn't fit in anywhere.

As for those who think it was some type of scholarly endeavor or other ploy, it clearly was not.

Obama seemed quite cocky and pompous, singing his own praises right and left, and it was clear he felt completely free to speak his mind and say whatever he really felt, in whatever way he wished.

And he did.

And now we know him.

The unfortunate truth is that this man doesn't have a clue about what it takes to defend our freedom and democracy, nor does he have a plan for anything else.

Bragging about "not being a child of the 60's" so he "didn't have to fight those battles" also seemed to me to be an underhanded capitulation to the forces of tyranny that now infest all three branches of our government.

Fellow citizens, Obama is not just a bad candidate. If he were elected our nation would be in almost as much, if not as much, peril as it would be under Bush.

This man does not even recognize that our Democratic Republic is in dire jeopardy, so naturally he can't begin to know who our enemies are, or how to fight them and restore the rule of law, and our Constitution, to this land.

So here's the "Party of ideas" transcript for those who missed it:


"I think its fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom, now we've heard it all before you look at the economic policies you know when they're being debated among the Presidential candidates it's all tax cuts well you know, we know, weve done that, weve tried it, uh (unintelligible) that's not really going to solve uh our energy problems for example."
Barack Obama, 1/16/2008


That's pretty unambiguous to me.
ST


"Once again, a mirage of salvation condemning all."
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave - www.searingtruth.com

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 9:39 PM

Posted by: roadkillrefugee | January 18, 2008 9:32 PM

rat-the:

Seriously, maybe you should concentrate on your dire situation at home -- those people could be BLINKING -- or, God forbid they are dozing off because they've been up 72 hours straight volunteering for his campaign. THINK, before you type.

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 9:04 PM

LOL! Obasama is really good at talking, without saying anything!

Guess that's why his ardent fans keep sleeping on him!

LOL! At least 4 in the photo!

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: rat-the | January 18, 2008 8:46 PM

I am glad that the Obama supporters are nuancing his comments on Reagan in a positive light. To bad they could not treat Hillary in a similar manner with reference to her statements about King. Everyone knew or should have known that she was not attempting to minimize Dr. King's work. Now I wonder what Obama meant about the excesses of the sixties and seventies? Should I interpret that as a stinging rebuke of the Civil Rights Movement?

Posted by: osiris1997 | January 18, 2008 8:35 PM

JayKay2:

Perhaps you missed the part where Hillary Clinton nameed Reagan as one of her favorite Presidents? Both Clinton were seen to "tear up" during his funeral too.

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 8:19 PM

So Obama is good at playing this game. He's no dummy. He knew that praising Reagan was going to have two effects: a) gain some admiration, support and openness from Republicans/Independents, b) drive his opponents to use this 'easy meat' against him, them slamming Reagan and Republicans in the process, and in doing so polarizing themselves to hardcore isolationist democratic positions, thus validating him as the only major candidate on the democratic ticket to hold any hope of uniting the people.

Well played Mr Obama. You've taken the attacks from both Edwards and Clinton and now you've turned it into political ju-jitsu - using the pre-disposition of your opponents to attack to turn their attacks back on themselves. So much for inexperienced eh? These so called more experienced politicians feel for it hook, line and sinker.

Posted by: JayKay2 | January 18, 2008 8:09 PM

Check out HRC's own website: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4674

She names Reagan as one of her favorite presidents.

Posted by: GordonsGirl | January 18, 2008 7:57 PM

lylepink:

Thanks for the info -- I will take a look at it -- in the meantime, are you saying you have found at least eight half-brothers and half-sisters of Barack's? Do you have a specific link for that?

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 7:44 PM

It's refreshing to see that Obama and his supporters are not seething in hatred. Perhaps some of you think that only a Reagan-hater can win a general election? I suspect the opposite is true.

By the way, have you noticed how often Republicans quote JFK? Know why? It's because Conservatives genuinely admire JFK (while they loath Nixon).

Consider what you, personally, think of those Republicans who viscerally hate JFK and everything he accomplished and stood for, purely because he was a Democrat. Lunatics? Well that's what Reagan-haters look like to most people, too.

Since FDR, the two most beloved American presidents were JFK and Reagan. There was a reason, after all, for those enormous Reagan landslides! God bless Barack Obama for being a man of peace.

Posted by: dan.nutley | January 18, 2008 7:26 PM

I actually think that was a smart move by Obama. He acknowledged Reagan's ability to mobilize and acknowledged that ideas had come out of Republicans that helped shaped the landscape - he didn't say he approved of the end products and their effects on the country, but he did give acknowledgment where acknowledgment was due.

Why is this a smart move? Well for one, any Democrat who is not completely 'hate Republicans' and who sees this as a fair call comment will not abandon him.

Independents will see someone taking a weighted view on things and think 'maybe this is someone I can get behind' (which he is already leading with them anyway).

It reinforces Obama's central message of trying to unite people. When half of the populace is Republican and Reagan was a hero to them, you just alienate them if you don't show respect to their heros. It allows any blue leaning Republicans to say 'well I can go with this guy because he doesn't make me feel like a demon because of who my heros are - he has shown some respect and balance here - we can work with this guy).

That doesn't mean to say that Obama is going to turn into a Republican, the fact is Obama is trying to transcend the Republican/Democrat divide and get people to work together around some tough issues that they need to come together on. That will help to unite America.

Given that many Democrats are still heavily aligned to Clinton, unwilling to relinquish the idea of her inevitability and having built up a fairy tale of the Clinton years when juxtaposed with the Bush Admin (I mean, practically anything could look like a fairy tale against the Bush Admin!), and time is short to keep getting Obama's message out and have people shift toward him (which they are doing, but fast enough?), then what Obama has effectively done is stack the deck with wild cards in the form of blue leaning Republicans and independents. This may be the unexpected edge that wins the day.

I would personally like to see a McCain-Obama gentlemanly duel, the best candidate winning. Republicans wouldn't do so bad to think strategically in giving some votes to Obama to counteract the Clinton inevitability.

Posted by: JayKay2 | January 18, 2008 7:09 PM

JakeD: I Posted on the other thread where to go for further information-"Barack Obama Family". Check it out.

Posted by: lylepink | January 18, 2008 6:32 PM

BABucher:

I was actually quoting SearingTruth from the other thread -- I personally have decided to vote FOR Obama in the primary.

vaughtdj:

Not sure how you can possibly think "...I think its fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time..." is anything but positive. But, whatever. Suffice it to say I agree more with priusdriver on Obama's comments (not on Reagan = death for a lot of people ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 6:09 PM

"he put us on fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. i think they felt like with all the all the excess of the 60's and 70's, that gov't had grown and grown, that there wasn't much sense of accountability on how it was operating. he tapped into what people were already feeling: we want clarity, we want optimism, a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing".

that's how obama finished out his "non-negative" assessment of what reagan was selling. and people bought.

so, what excess is he talking about? would that be LBJ's great society? that gave more people in this country the opportunity to succeed? or would that be the excesses of the civil rights, gay rights and woman's movement?

there's a lot of "non-negative" things happening here, and frankly it's not cool. Reagan = death for a lot of people.

Posted by: priusdriver | January 18, 2008 6:03 PM

so, egc52556 - we just ignore the rest of his sentence where he puts down nixon and clinton for not managing the miraculous reagan movement that he is clearly comparing his campaign to?

it's not just "non-negative" (which in real english is called "positive", but i digress) he is comparing reagan's ability to move the country to his. and nixon and clinton's inablity to do so. that does require you to examine both movements, and their consequences.

"sheesh"

Posted by: priusdriver | January 18, 2008 5:48 PM

This Obama guy in not fit to be a senator leave alone a president.

Posted by: mtesema1 | January 18, 2008 5:46 PM

Obama's comments seem to be a Rorschach inkblot test demonstrating the difference between (a) People who actually read/viewed Obama's comments in context vs. (b) People who can't stand any Democrat saying anything non-negative about Reagan.

If Obama is naive it is in this: he seems to honestly expect people to use their brains.

You -- I'm talking to YOU -- use your brain. Obama's comments in NO WAY endorsed Reagan's presidency or politics. He only said that Reagan "changed the trajectory of America." Period. Full stop. End of meaning.

Sheesh.

Posted by: egc52556 | January 18, 2008 5:33 PM

it was a mistake. reagan is not someone i want any president to think is a yardstick they would like to be measured against -- especially not a democrat. and comparing nixon with clinton is straight up rude.

every republican running for prez is tripping over themselves to be the next reagan. and i don't accept the "you need to listen / read his remarks more carefully" argument. there's no excuse for you to lift up reagan as an admirable agent of change, while you knock clinton - who had to come in and mop up 12 years of reagan/bush and their disastrous economic and social policies.

that's a change we should be looking for... if you want to be part of the democratic party, in my opinion.

go hillary!

Posted by: priusdriver | January 18, 2008 5:11 PM

well, again i feel i should point out that in no way is Obama admiring the republicans or endorsing their ideas.

in this last excerpt you just posted all obama is saying is that the republicans were able to gain traction because they tapped into people's moods that America needed a certain type of change.

Obama does not say he agrees with that kind of change- all he says is that the republicans were able to tap into that change.

Posted by: vaughtdj | January 18, 2008 4:58 PM

JakeD, you've been slamming Obama for weeks (or at least as long as I've been trolling the WaPost). So lay off the "Now" BS.

Posted by: BABucher | January 18, 2008 4:57 PM

vaughtdj:

As SearingTruth pointed out in the prior thread, there's much more than just this one excerpt (although I can't tell whether you think Obama brought up Reagan in a positive manner or not). What do you think about the following quote?

"...I think its fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom, now we've heard it all before you look at the economic policies you know when they're being debated among the Presidential candidates it's all tax cuts well you know, we know, we've done that, we've tried it, uh (unintelligible) that's not really going to solve uh our energy problems for example..."

(watch from 15 minutes in to 25 minutes in):
http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080115/VIDEO/80115026

Do YOU really believe that Republicans have been the party of ideas over the last 10, 15 years? It's just their economic policies that are old hat?

I am now firmly convinced that electing Barack Obama would be almost as dangerous as reelecting Bush.

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 4:29 PM

you see this is what is wrong with our politics today, anyways.

one mention of a republican- in even the slightest postiive way- and obama is slammed and deemed a traitor to the party. geesh.

if you want the divisive politics of the last two decades, then you can follow along with this. but if youre tired of it, vote OBAMA

Posted by: vaughtdj | January 18, 2008 3:56 PM

wow.

everyone needs to just relax and actually listen and read what obama said. he did NOT say that he admired reagan. he did NOT say that he preferred reagan over clinton. And he did NOT say- as Hiilary is alleging- that Reagan and the republicans had "better ideas" than the democrats.

all he said was he believed reagan and the republicans of the time tapped into a movement of change- in this case a change to the right. he now feels that it is time for he and the democratic party to bring about a new movement towards change- this time to the left.

Posted by: vaughtdj | January 18, 2008 3:54 PM

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