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Obama's Reagan Comparison Sparks Debate

By Shailagh Murray
LAS VEGAS -- 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?

"When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people," former Sen. John Edwards shot back at an event in Henderson, Nevada. "He was openly -- openly-- intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country...He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment."

Edwards added, "I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change."

From the Reagan corner, the response to Obama's remarks was amusement, and an approving nod or two.

"If I understand what he was saying I can't entirely disagree with it. They both came along at times when society was on the cusp of change and they are both agents of change," Ron Reagan Jr, told the Huffington Post, a liberal political site. "As far as Barack Obama being a similar agent of change, that remains to be seen. But what I do see him saying is that we are in a historical moment right now like the 60s and 80s. And I think he's right. We are overdue for a cultural shift right now."

Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan called the comment "happy fodder for columnists and commentators. As a member of the Reagan guild, "I say: thank you. But to break into reality for a second: If Barack Obama is a great man it will become apparent with time, and if he is not, that will become apparent too."

The Reagan reference worked with the Reno Gazette-Journal, which endorsed Obama after the interview. The paper noted: "One can fairly describe Obama's philosophical optimism and charismatic manner as too idealistic, even a tad dreamy. But he also demonstrates the courage to stand his ground where necessary, willing, for instance, to salute both President John Kennedy and President Ronald Reagan as agents of change in times when the country needed change."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 17, 2008; 8:39 PM ET
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Posted by: kolinka | May 11, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama's efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten's of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin "Tony" Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

Obama should be vetted and disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges -- Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --

"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

Posted by: jreno | February 26, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

rjlee818, I agree. Come on people! Read or listen to what he said. I get NO sense whatsoever that Obama either liked or praised Reagan here. If anything, he was careful to point out the difference between "capturing a mood" and "doing right".....but for people with inanely short attention spans or totally "moldable" minds to the extent that they can not seem to see through this type of garbage political trashing (in fact, it reminds me of Bush's inane charge against Kerry that he thought the world would be better off with Saddam in power, when Kerry had said just the opposite before criticizing Bush's conduct of the war). Hillary is stooping to "W" level, which is about as low as one can get intellectually)

Wake up people. Think.

Posted by: dlature | January 26, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse does democracy work when there are so many people that are not educated enough to understand what another person said? Can dumb people make intelligent decisions that effect so many people in the US and around the world? I'm starting to think from these comments that people are just too dumb to vote effectively because they cannot analyze intelligently what a candidate saids. Spin works because so many people stupid.

Posted by: rjlee818 | January 22, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"As a teen growing up in St. Louis, I vividly remember Ronald Reagan's presidency. I remember how the St. Louis Public School system was thrown into a tailspin and ultimately destroyed by the very first act of desegregation."

You're memory must be a a little fuzzy there, guy. Reagan was vehemently opposed to busing and other desegregation efforts.

Let me guess, you still don't like him because... um... you remember vividly when you were young and Ronald Reagan ran over your puppy?

Posted by: craigd999 | January 21, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

As a teen growing up in St. Louis, I vividly remember Ronald Reagan's presidency. I remember how the St. Louis Public School system was thrown into a tailspin and ultimately destroyed by the very first act of desegregation. Being transferred across town to a totally unknown region and taken from the school I wanted to attend so badly (school pride). Being treated like crap by teachers and students who didn't like us, want us, or help us achieve the goals like the teachers at our previous schools. My brother and I will never forgive those involved. Obama has compared himself to a man who's presidency I'm all too familiar with. From one black man to another, Obama, you just lost my vote. Hello Hillary!! I'm with you until the end. Go Girl!!!

Posted by: bacjackso | January 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Lyrics from Hard Headed Woman by Cat Stevens (as he once called himself)

"I know a lot of fancy dancers
People who can glide you on the floor
They move so smooth but have no answers
When you ask --why'd you come here for"

Hillary theme song should be 'Hard Headed Woman'

Posted by: rennies | January 19, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE Obama's end game in Nevada. He's taking on Clinton and Edwards and in the best way possible-- non-partisan by the numbers.

Many dems completely dismiss the Reagan years, but that is to dismiss the millions of Americans that voted for and supported the Gipper. Barack is more practical and thus more correct and thus unifying. Reagan is what America wanted in the 80's, he trimmed the govt., stopped the cold war, and cut taxes. He was new type of President.

Does this mean Barack will be a President like Reagan? No. It means he is not confined to the partisan box like all of the other politicians in this race. He is running his own campaign on HIS TERMS.

Posted by: ChrisStewart | January 19, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I can tell you one way he is dividing right now. I am a baby boomer...just retiring. I came of age in the 60's and 70's. People were sick of the excesses of that time. Would that be the civil rights act...environmental concerns...protest about the vietnam war? Could that be the young people who died fighting those causes? Senator Obama would not be where he is today...if we "baby boomers" had not done what we did back than. No Harvard. No Community Organizer. No Million dollar house. No Senate Seat. He would have been outcast by both the white and black society. By the way...Senator Obama was brought up in an upper middle class home. Where he lived in a neighborhood filled with million dollar homes....probably more now. His schooling was provided by his white grandparents. I doubt very much he went without..or even struggled.

I have heard him and his utter contempt for those of us who fought those wars. Frankly..I find that very offensive. The Reagan years where a back lash to Civil Rights. Reagan gave the people a way to feel good about blaming the victims for their circumstances. All the way from Welfare lack of funds for the mentally ill leading to the tragedy of the homeless with no protection. Call them lazy...and a burden on society with a smile on his face. Good Morning bet. What about all the people...who were baby boomers...who fought those battles. Senator Obama has no respect for that generation...and is attempting to divide young and old.

Posted by: anne9 | January 19, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Reagan. I was not old enough to vote for him in 1980, or 1984, but I was old enough to serve under him in the Marine Corps in 1986.
Political policies aside (most of which I did not agree with) he made me really proud to be an American. I think that is what will be needed in the years ahead, too, I want to be proud of my country again...under the current administration, I am not proud of my country, and what we have done over the past few years. I have generally voted Republican the last 20 years, but if Obama is on the Dem ballot, I will most likely vote for him. I will vote for Rudy before I vote for Clinton...I certainly will not "flip" from my party to vote for her.

Posted by: ekomanii | January 19, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

I really hated the Reagan years, and they were the motivation to become active in politics. The same seems to be true for Obama, as he notes in his first book during the community organizing years, and as a previous poster repeats.

But he was just saying that Reagan came along at a time of great change, and the same is true of this moment as well. I'm not offended by the remark as a Democrat or American. Rather, I think it shows the kind of thoughtfulness he would bring to the presidency. Clinton and Edwards rush back to the Blue State playbook to get in their digs against Reagan, which will undoubtably play well in the primaries. However, I don't think that such thinking will unify the country. We need an Obama.

He is different, expressive, new, idealistic. I don't think either of the two other Dem candidates will lead us in a remarkably different direction as a country. I think Obama would.

Posted by: sunmoonlight | January 19, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Get the story straight...

"The Republican approach I think has played itself out. I think it's fair to say the Republicans WERE the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10 or 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies, when they're being debated among the presidential candidates, it's all tax cuts. Well, we've done that, we've tried it."
-Barak Obama

Posted by: luvisia777 | January 19, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I am beginning to let a lot more naivete with Obama than I had originally. He will not get my vote. I think he needs a few more years in the Senate, and a lot more world experience in general. I am begging to see him as an opportunist aka., Reagan Remark. Was he born yesterday? John Edwards remarks about this statement were right on target.

Posted by: dmhkh | January 18, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

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.

Hillary Clinton should do her part in making the Democratic Party a party of ideas again. She can start by voting for Barack Obama in November.

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse


I read the NY Times article you reference. The comment that Obama say babyboomer should get over themselves is not a quote but an editorialization by the author. He never said actually that. So, if you are baby boomer take a "Big Chill" pill.

Posted by: luvisia777 | January 18, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's remember that his mentor was Liebermann. Let's remember that Obama crossed party lines to back Liebermann over Ned Lemont. When Obama's party called upon him he gave the party the finger; yep, Liebermann is his man. Libermann, Bush, Cheney, and Ronnie Raygun, yep vote for Obama oh yeah; isn't Obama a relative of Cheney? If you let Obama into the White House then you have Bush, Cheney, and Libermann sitting there with him. When the Kyle-Libermann bill came up for vote; Obama did what he always does when he is uncomfortable; he ducks out.

Give me a break; Obama is sitting with the corporations and raking in the cash. I am not a Oprah fan, I have read books my whole life I do not need her help. She is a fricking billionaire; we need a billionaire to endorse a candidate? As far as I am concern; Oprah is too self centered, like Seinfeld she is a whiner. I could give a rats ass who she endorses. I back Kuchinich, period. If Obama or Hillary gets the nod then I jump over to Ron Paul.

Posted by: deborah-371 | January 18, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

For better or for worse Ronald Reagan was able to push privatization and deregulation in the face of his own parties opposition. He was able to advance to conservative social agenda to the point that American political discourse has been shifted right of center. So concrete is this shift that hard core progressives seem like out of touch throw backs. Liberals were in hiding until George W Bush made such a monumental mess of the war.

I am an independent turned Democrat and Obama is absolutely correct. We need the type of change that is not going to be sanctioned by the party orthodoxy. For all of Reagan's short comings, he successfully broke the mold.

Were Obama is wrong is in discounting Bill Clinton's contribution. He balanced the budget (thought impossible) and implemented welfare reform (extremely unpopular among Democrats). He also created the template for the contemporary Democrat, by moving the party from the left to the center. Although, I believe the shift was reactionary and not visionary, I credit him for keeping the party relevant while the majority country was moving away from liberal ideals.

Posted by: luvisia777 | January 18, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

What in the world is he on.

Is Obama a real Democrat?


Posted by: jeffboste | January 18, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

JHA: I have found by a Google search "Barack Obama Family" a lot about his Father, and as best I can figure out he has about eight others around that were his Fathers children from at least three different women. Grandparents and other family members, living in mud huts in Kenya, with very little food to go around. Expensive schools he attended, and so much more that does not fit with the image he is trying to make of himself. Check it out.

Posted by: lylepink | January 18, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | January 18, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse


You are not alone in thinking there is something "wrong" with Obama's message of "inclusion" and "hope".
He is not a uniter. He is a divider.

The very first article I happened to read about him was this one in the NY Times a year ago about how the baby boomers should just get over themselves. He just blew us all off. That is not the behavior of a "uniter", notwithstanding all the "soaring rhetoric".

Here is the article:

I think his race baiting was despicable. If he was truly above it all, he would have tamped down his campaign and the talking points memo long before this last debate. He got what he wanted, which was to turn the black vote away from Hillary. He could then afford to be "gracious".

The good news is that if he is the nominee he certainly has the sharp elbows that will be required to deal with the Republicans. The bad news is that, in my opinion, he cannot be trusted.

Posted by: jha | January 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

After hearing this, any African American or Union member still vote for Senator Obama then they deserved what they got. I can still remember how Reagan busted the Air traffic controller union, by firing the whole group. I can still remember how the black communities look like at the early 80'. Is this what he has in mind ? Talk about the party of ideas. The only ideas I ever heards from the Republican is tax cut for the rich. Give me one worthy ideas from the Republican then I can vote for you.
By the way, I am neither back nor union.

Posted by: tp618 | January 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Brack Obama is thin on policy and details. His wife was recently a member of the board of the largest supplier to Wal-Mart. Barack Obama wants to leave 15 million Americans without health care. Barack Obama thinks that the vile times of Ronald Reagan and his all out attack on America's social structure is worth praise!

This many is scary, and he must be stopped! The only realistic hope is Hillary Clinton, and I will be urging as many as possible to stop this nonsense!

Posted by: Stephanie78 | January 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Three observations on Senator Obama's Reagan remarks:
One, are things so far gone in partisan spite that when a politician makes a gracious bow across the aisle he is denounced as some kind of traitor? Apparently for many that is the case. I think this is exactly the blind bloody minded partisanship Obama is correctly warning all of us about, and it is something most of us like hearing.
Two, we have a generational horizon in these remarks, those of us who are in the older age group should remember that for Senator Obama's generation and those even younger, Ronald Reagan is an example of a successful President, one who served two terms and achieved most of what he promised. These younger people do not remember people and events before Reagan.
Third, in a very classy way, Senator Obama made his point about sometimes political figures being able to bring change, optimism and the spirit of their time. He also pointed out that however cunning and brilliant, many otherwise important figures like Presidents Nixon and Clinton do not meet this standard. He didn't have to call them Tricky Dick or Slick Willie to make his point. I am shocked many ultra partisans didn't savage Obama for pointing out how Clinton and Nixon resemble each other. It was a very telling shot across Bill Clinton's bow.

Posted by: SanchoK | January 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

You are no Reagan Obama.

Thanks for getting your hommies all PO'ed by saying nice things about Ron thought.

This is fun.

Posted by: neil.myers | January 18, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow. People should really learn how to listen--or read. He clearly described how the era that rang in Ronald Reagan warranted a change because that's what people at that time felt they needed. He talked about why Reagan was elected, not his legacy afterward. He did not say "Reagan is totally awesome."

The jumping to conclusions and the lack of understanding of the political process of so called Democrats and Republicans is the reason I do not affiliate with either. People have turned the Democratic and Republican parties into nothing more than gangs who have nothing better to do than to verbally assassinate each other's members, allowing the media to manipulate when and why.

The media told us that Hillary Clinton disrespected MLK, but she didn't. Go ahead and reread what was said. Now, the media is telling us that OMG! A Democrat is praising Ronald Reagan and comparing himself to him! Don't let him get away with that. People, please. You are adults and should learn how to think as such.

Posted by: kie.richards | January 18, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

When will someone finally say the emperor has no clothes?

Posted by: chigal5 | January 18, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

In so many ways, I've said it before, that this guy Obama in no way should be trusted. He is a slime and an opportunist.

He has "con" his way through these primaries and many of his blindsided and obtuse minded supporters cannot see that OBAMA is truly a DANGEROUS CHOICE. They are being hypnotized by what the media calls "charms" and these supporters are failing to see what this guy is truly all about.

Obama talks about change, but I guess the truth has come out, he wants the same changes that Ronald Reagan made that threw so many people on the streets. His supporters should ask themselves these questions:

1.Why is it that the poorest of the poor are supporting Sen. Clinton and not Obama?

2. Do you not care that Obama's health-care plan leaves 15 million Americans uninsured?

3. Now that Obama has conveniently discovered that he is black after all, because he needs the black vote and dares to compare himself with Dr. Martin Luther King of all people, black folks need to ask themselves: Where was Obama during "Jena Six" in Louisiana? (Oh, yeah, I think he was white then)

Obama is no Martin Luther King, as MLK would have undoubtedly have marched and protested on behalf of the unfair treatment of those black young men. Obama's attitude was appaling.

Obama has been so successful because he has been secretly funded by Republicans who now recognize that it would be easier to beat him instead of Sen. Clinton in the general elections.

Having a Muslim middle name and being associated with Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. who praised Louis Farrakhan (a racist and a biggot) as "truly epitomized greatness" will be enough ammo for the Republicans to cream him in the general elections.

God help us if he is the nominee.

Posted by: Spiffy1 | January 18, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

All the years of media sound bites have left so many people jumping to conclusions after a few sentences - or, based on an "impression" or "feeling." People acting on a "feeling" that W was more "likable" than Gore and virtually ignored his record of failed businesses and characterological problems left us in the mess we are in. Re-read the full quote. Ronald Reagan Jr. interpreted the meaning correctly - he was speaking about a leader tapping into the mood of the citizenry at the time and capitalizing on it to make major changes. He is NOT saying he admires or wants to emulate Ronald Reagan. Geez, people! By the way, I'm undecided between Clinton and Obama, so this is not a soley pro-Obama point! And, to the racists in the posts - sadly, there are so many like you out there - I hope the decent, tolerant Americans outnumber you at the polls to salvage our collective soul.

Posted by: bethechange1 | January 18, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Who is Barack Obama?

The man who will unite us by being all things to all people?

Let's see, so far, he's been Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez and now, Ronald Reagan.

What's next? Harvey Milk in San Fransisco, Che Guevara in Miami.......

Once again, who is Barack Obama? Oh, and more importantly, is he really a Democrat?

Posted by: brigittepj | January 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

After reading the posts, I'm glad to see there are some who actually understand what Sen Obama was saying. He was not praising Reagan or his policies. Barack Obama was saying the American people decided they wanted change and they chose Ronald Reagan as that change agent. This was a pragmatic assessment of what America decided on in the 80s. Whether one liked or disliked the Reagan years was not the point he was making. The point was simply that Reagan brought about change. Taking what Obama said and using it for political fodder is the type of politics engaged in all too frequently. It's the politics we do not need. That's the politics Barack Obama wants to change.

Posted by: mazd273 | January 18, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Most of you just don't get what he said...Weather you like/dislike agree/disagree with, him Ronald Reagan was for change, and to that fact he succeeded. It was at a time that Americans were tired of what was going on for whatever reason. That is what Obama is for, change. If both Dems and Repubs didn't vote for
Reagan, he would have never made it, get over it,and For god's sake think outside your party box. On a side note, how many times has he flip flopped?

Posted by: woodard3 | January 18, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama was talking about how Reagan pushed the country towards conservative ideals with his optimism. You know "Morning in America". Reagan even had Regan Democrats.. Have you ever heard of Hillary Republicans? I doubt it. That's what Obama wants Obama Republicans. Duh anyone with half a brain would know that but of course most posters are supporting the most polarizing candidates Hillary and Edwards so they would find fault in his argument.

Posted by: TennGurl | January 18, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

As has been said a few times now, if you watch the entire commentary, there is more explanation behind what was being said.

Obama has always said that regardless of if Dems like it or not, he will speak the truth. RR did make a huge impact on the US and whether Dems liked the outcome is beside the point that Obama is trying to make.

There have been a few posts stating that Obama should be less opportunistic and stop trying to appeal to both Dems and Repubs, but that is the whole message of his campaign - let's get away from Red America and Blue American and focus on the United States of America.

I believe that most of us do get caught up in the fight between sides, but in actuality, this country would run so much better if people appreciated the society we live in - and focus on that instead of pitting people against one another.

Posted by: soccrmom6 | January 18, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, Obama's comment expressed no opinion on the policies of Pres Reagan.

Posted by: zukermand | January 18, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama's statement about Reagan presidency is true and he should follow up with a few comments about how some (most) of Reagan's policies were bad for the country (i.e. huge deficits and union busting.) Go Obama.

Posted by: lcw04 | January 18, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jgkoomey | January 18, 2008 01:43 AM --
"The full interview is linked below, but here's the link for those who don't want to page up (watch from 15 minutes in to 25 minutes in):

Thank you for this. In context Obama's comments were far more innocuous than the criticisms here would imply. Take these quotes, for example, from around the 20 minute mark. I've added the emphasis that Obama used because without it the meaning isn't clear:

"The republican approach... I think has played itself out."

"The republicans WERE the party of ideas... but now you've heard it all before."

This is not Reagan worship. This is acknowledging that Reagan brought a revolution, whether you like it or not.

Note to SearingTruth: I don't agree with your assessments of Obama's comments and your tone is exactly the kind of knee-jerk partisanship that I'm tired of. In the future I'll probably just ignore your commentaries. That's the problem with your brand of partisanship: the people you want to convince stop listening. See the effect Bush's foreign-policy partisanship has had on our once-allies around the world.

Posted by: egc52556 | January 18, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama was 19 when Reagan became president and was in college and law school. It takes up all of your time, completely. I am a labor lawyer, representing workers, in California where Schwarzenegger and tried to drive a stake through the heart of injured workers and labor unions. It all started with Reagan when he fired the air traffic controllers in the early 80s and the Bushes are more of the same. Clinton was not perfect, but to mention Reagan as an agent of change, and not say bad change, is blasphemy. Edwards' reply in Henderson, NV yester-
day was spot on. I just voted for Edwards on my CA absentee ballot and against every propo-
sition as they are nothing more than an attempt to scam the public. Though I wasn't sure before, I now know that Obama is not ready to be president and make positive changes for the middle class in this country.

Posted by: balosee | January 18, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

"...This is why I worry about Obama. Appealing to the emotional middle is all nice and fine, but America is going to have to sacrifice due to the military and economic screw ups of the current administration. And hope doesn't stop the red ink or the red blood from flowing"
Posted by: DoctorHair | January 18, 2008 03:24 AM

Indeed fellow patriot. I just finished watching the entire 49 minute interview and it was quite disheartening, and occasionally disturbing.

Besides the extended statements of admiration for Reagan while emoting only one line for Kennedy, and his audacious statement that the Republicans have been the "party of ideas" for the last 10,15 years, he never once mentions our secret prisons and other crimes against humanity, the loss of our civil liberties, or the restoration of our Constitution. Much less bringing those who have subverted it and disgraced our nation to justice.

And he is simply vague about almost everything else, even the Iraq war, and at times seems almost intellectually disheveled when trying to make that vagueness seem like an actual plan.

Once again, anyone interested in Obama really has to take the time to watch the whole thing. Now that I think about it, it's actually even a little haunting.

This man is by no stretch of the imagination ready to be President, nor does he reflect the core ideals of America, the Democratic Party, or the many moderate Independent voters such as myself.

At this point it looks like Edwards is our best hope.

"I writhed in anguish for years. Always knowing pain was coming, but never knowing what I should attempt to say next, or how I should appear so that my American torturers would believe me.

The problem was that I was innocent."

A Future of the Brave -

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

I watched the interview and came away feeling there is something about this guy that is not right, this happens everytime I see and hear him. I can't explain why, it is just there.

Posted by: lylepink | January 18, 2008 3:32 AM | Report abuse

:::Read what Obama said and it speaks of the country being ready for a change in politics as usual or at least politics of the last 20 years. Sounds like he is likening his situation to the situation Reagan faced when the country was fed up with President Carter (long gas lines and high gas prices,
Posted by: gtaylor301 | January 17, 2008 09:59 PM :::

Yup. Reagan appealed to the innate selfishness of Americans unwillingness to sacrifice. At least not personally sacrifice.

Everybody was ready to sacrifice the welfare queen and demonize the war on drugs and Catholic nuns and Archbishops in order that they could feel better about themselves and their country.

But personally put on a sweater or drive smaller lighter cars to help end American oil dependence or accept that American exceptionalism is just a jingoistic myth to appeal to their emotional middle? Ya might as well ask current Americans to sacrifice more taxes to pay for their beloved war on terra.

This is why I worry about Obama. Appealing to the emotional middle is all nice and fine, but America is going to have to sacrifice due to the military and economic screw ups of the current administration. And hope doesn't stop the red ink or the red blood from flowing.

Posted by: DoctorHair | January 18, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

These two frontrunners need to get some sleep before uttering any more ridiculous remarks. The golden rule is never to say anything that has not been filtered by the brain. First HRC comparing herself to LBJ and now BHM comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. How literate is Obama in American history? Or has that 'thing he was doing in the neighborhood' diminished the grey matter in his head?

Posted by: mtlyorel | January 18, 2008 2:41 AM | Report abuse

"... The full interview is linked below, but here's the link for those who don't want to page up (watch from 15 minutes in to 25 minutes in):"

Oh God.

Everyone has to see this interview. It's even worse than we thought. I started 15 minutes in, heard Obama make the statement in the video above, then utter only a single sentence about Kennedy ("I think Kennedy, 20 years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction."), followed a few sentences later by the following incredible bombshell.

Now I know this will be unbelievable, but I transcribed it word for word, and as I said you just have to go see it for yourself at the link posted by jgkoomey.

OK. Are you ready?

Here it goes (hold on to your hats everyone):

"...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..."
Barack Obama, 1/16/2008

I'm no longer stunned, I'm dazed and confused.

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

Well, let me inform Mr. Obama about something.

The Republican Parties ideas have consisted of indefinitely incarcerating extra-judicially abducted anonymous citizens in secret prisons without charge or representation and subjecting them to institutionalized torture and murder.

Their ideas have included the universal surveillance of American citizens without warrant, and an illegal war of conquest and greed in Iraq.

And their ideas have even included giving the "President" the powers of a dictator.

And the only "conventional wisdom" they have ever challenged is that America is a humane nation that embraces our Constitution and its rule of law.

Fellow Americans, please watch the interview yourselves. I am now firmly convinced that electing Barack Obama would be almost as dangerous as reelecting Bush.

"If only we could turn back time, before madness gripped us."

A Future of the Brave -

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Is it astonishing or just sad how many people hear what they want to hear not what is said...

Barak Obama did not praise Reagan. He just was reflecting, thinking, musing on why Reagan, in his time, tapped into a desire for a new direction among many American voters.

Barak Obama is not boasting, he is just reflecting, thinking, musing that we are at a similar turning point, albeit hopefully in a more positive direction.

Why in the world is that so threatening to so many of you posting here? Why does it call forth such name calling and such anger?

I am completely bewildered and saddened by this incapacity of many to listen or to "hear."

I am an old lady. I have never voted Republican for President. I was not charmed by Reagan... but Barak Obama, G-D bless him is intelligently, yes intelligently, however threatening that seems to be to some of you, reflecting about Reagan's appeal and effect. Can someone explain to me what it is that makes that so naive, so awful for those of you who have gone ballistic?

As for me, I guess, it is time that I give him some money so that more people can get to hear, yes hear what he has to say if only they will be still enough for just one small moment, to hear.

Posted by: lawofficeepstein | January 18, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is a hypocrite that continues to dismay with his stories and lack of policies. In his book in 1995, he said he got into community organizing in Chicago in 1983 to "pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds."

Hopefully now Democrats will see him for what he is, and that is someone that will simply say anything to achieve his objective. He is an anti-union Reagan defending hypocrite! It's time to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Stephanie78 | January 18, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Memo to: Staff
From: Hill
Re: Obama

Dear staff, I've got it, I've got it! Please direct the treasurer to purchase one hour of primetime on all major Networks (have American Idol cancelled that night.)

Have the networks host Obama, with questions and no structure. let him "free associate."

I can go on vacation now!


Posted by: rmctwo | January 18, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Johnathon: Google "Barack Obama Family" There is a lot of stuff there that is worth considering. I'm going to check the site suggested by jgkoomey.

Posted by: lylepink | January 18, 2008 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Dear Senator Obama,

While listening to the media hype and political spin surrounding your words, an image comes to mind that all of the other candidates (on both sides) are lightning bolts repeatedly striking lightning rods with words like race, experience, drugs, war,terrorism and the tired worn out word...taxes. All of them trying to start fires everywhere, no matter who or what gets burned in the pursuit of a vote or a buck. Rarely have we had a candidate that is the wire leading to the ground, which is the American people, who truly have the power to shut down the electricity to the same old politics as usual.

Thank you, Senator Obama for being that wire that grounds my vote. None of us can afford to be blinded by the light or choked by the smoke this time around. The stakes are too high.

P.S. I have voted in every election since 1972, as one of the first 18 year olds to cast our votes. Now I have sent a contribution to your campaign, it is only the second time I've done it. The last was sent to douse the wild fire still burning in the White House.

Posted by: AverageJane | January 18, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I concur that Nixon was the first to hammer a giant wedge into the cultural cracks of this country. He is a problematic example, because despite his loathsome personal qualities and complete disregard for the Constitution, his domestic policies were substantially more "liberal" (modern US political definition) than any president that followed. Can you imagine Bill Clinton trying to impose price controls? Who created the EPA, who signed the Endangered Species act. Please understand I'm not praising Nixon, I'm just pointing out that he was a transitional figure and the current political era did not begin until after his resignation.
About Reagan: I'll try this one more time. I am not now nor ever was a fan of the man or his politicies, but I now have to admit that he was mighty effective at unifying a large part of the public (yes, partly through racism, homophobia etc). My understanding of Obama's argument is that he can play the unifying role that Reagan did, but in service of progressive goals, and by using persuasion and inspiration rather than fear. Reagan was an agent of change (largely for ill), and Obama can be an equally effective agent for change that will be good.

Let us please read things before we respond to them and attempt to make reasoned arguments instead of being willfully obtuse in the way that Edwards was. I'm not here to score points in front of some largely imaginary audience, but rather to argue cordially with and persuade fellow Americans.

Posted by: jonathanmstevens | January 18, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

I actually watched the full interview (as should anyone else who is making a decision about who to vote for). The clip posted here is part of a longer answer, which is in turn part of a wide-ranging interview on many different topics (linked above).

He preceded the discussion of Reagan by talking (among other things) about how he (Obama) was the most requested speaker during the 2006 campaign, especially in the swing districts which were heavily republican and independent, inferring that the people who requested him thought he'd be a less polarizing figure than some others. That's why he then says "I don't want to present myself as an unusual historical figure".

The full interview is linked below, but here's the link for those who don't want to page up (watch from 15 minutes in to 25 minutes in):

I would strongly urge anyone who is concerned about this clip not to rely just on the clip itself and watch the full interview (or at least the section from 15-25 minutes).

It is clear to me that he was not saying "everything Reagan did was great". It is clear from other parts of the interview that Obama's way of looking at issues is diametrically opposed to Reagan's in many important ways.

So watch the whole interview, please, before jumping to conclusions.

Posted by: jgkoomey | January 18, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

CHANGE: More take home pay and less taxes.

You had better vote Republican if you want less taxes....

Democrats = higher taxes

Posted by: texasgamer | January 18, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Obama lost me when he made remarks about Social Security that were inaccurate, inappropriate, and would only place Social Security at risk.

Giving the right-wing another opportunity to destroy Social Security makes me very suspicious of Obama.

While it's not necessarily worrisome that a candidate bases his entire campaign on a cult of personality, his careless disregard for the content and impact of real policy is more than unsettling, it's alarming.

Additional matters including his dismisive attitude towards economic stimulis also concern me. His first position was that the tax cuts he proposed would be adequate. His staff only made changes to his position AFTER both Edwards (who recognized the need more than a month before it became public discussion) and Clinton presented sound comprehensive plans.

Obama's acceptance of right-wing interpretations of recent history are also troubling as well as his "present" votes in the legislature.

His appeal as a reconcilor is cynical on its face. It's either a pander to the independent and other poorly informed voters or, if he's sincere about reconciliation, I believe that he's not ready for prime time and has no deep understanding of how we came to this point in our history. Indeed if he were elected and attempted to implement wide compromise it would, in the end, increase rather than decrease the battles over the role of government.

An odd irony I think is that Edwards, who some view as a combative populist, would, on implementation of his agenda, re-establish a governing concensus, a new "vital center" that would in the end greatly reduce the rancor, gridlock and polarization.

The press has successfully rolled Democrats and the public at large once again.

As soon as Obama announced; the press trashed Edwards and established a rigid storyline for the Democratic nomination contest. It was to be a two person race, period.

Posted by: cal1942 | January 18, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: anne9 | January 18, 2008 12:55 AM

Thank you so much patriot anne9.

It was getting scary around here with all these suddenly pro-Reagan Democrats.

As you so eloquently describe, Reagan was simply a monster, and there was nothing admirable about him at all. On the contrary, and as you also state, he started us down the road to inhumanity and tyranny we are now traveling.

For any American to suggest otherwise is ridiculous, and revolting.

"A brutal hand is despised by all it touches."

A Future of the Brave -

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

"Johnathon: The current "Hate and FEAR" tactic was started by Nixon, with "HATE" and "FEAR" by Reagan, and has been the primary Factors used by all the Repubs in their run for The WH ever since. My problem with Obama is his trying to compare himself with MLK, JFK, and now Reagan. His supporters are using these same "FEAR and HATE" tactics against Hillary. My question to his supporters--What or Where is the Change you folks want??"

Indeed fellow patriot. And what I find most disturbing is their constant refrain that those who disagree with Obama are just too stupid to understand, or recognize, his greatness.

Now that's just downright scary.

I wasn't kidding when I said earlier that my eyes were really being opened today.

This is the type of blind loyalty, and denial of reality, that I regularly encounter when debating neocons.

I would have been thrown off kilter by Obama's disturbing comments alone, but his supporters responses have left me in a downright tizzy.

"The depth of human compassion may be measured by how often they forgive their gods."

A Future of the Brave -

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Well this takes the cake. Senator Obama needs to refresh his history. President Reagon did the Iran-Conta move before President Carter left build his public image. He coined the phrase.."welfare queen". He cut funds for mental health....creating millions of street people who are abused and neglected. He gave tax cuts to the rich...who profited off the crash of the Unions...demoralizing the blue collar worker and lowering wages all over the USA. He despised the black movement and cut funds in all areas of education, health and welfare. President Nixon deserves equal or as much credit for the fall of the USSR as is given to Reagan. His economic policy has been proven false over and over again. He was an elitist who wouldnt allow other to express different opinions. And now we have this Senator ....saying that President Reagan changed the country. He sure was the beginning of the destruction of the middle class. Senator Obama is an egotistical,intellectual, air-head. This interview just proves it to me. He reminds me of a twenty something...or maybe late teens....who think they have all the answers to life. He demonstrates gross immaturity. Good us from him.

Posted by: anne9 | January 18, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Johnathon: The current "Hate and FEAR" tactic was started by Nixon, with "HATE" and "FEAR" by Reagan, and has been the primary Factors used by all the Repubs in their run for The WH ever since. My problem with Obama is his trying to compare himself with MLK, JFK, and now Reagan. His supporters are using these same "FEAR and HATE" tactics against Hillary. My question to his supporters--What or Where is the Change you folks want??

Posted by: lylepink | January 18, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

And it just becomes curiouser and curiouser.

Do all Obama supporters think that Ronald Reagan, the man who gave us masses of homeless, broken unions, illegal secret government, and financial catastrophe, had qualities to be admired?

Lord almighty.

And I was one inch from voting for this either very confused, or perhaps clandestinely inhumane, man. I honestly don't know what to think of him personally anymore.

In any case, I just went to John Edwards web site and joined his campaign.

I was really hoping a viable Independent candidate would appear, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. So until and unless it does I will support Edwards.

But having said that, it really is amazing to hear so many Democrats simply repeat the lies about Reagan that before now I had only heard Republicans espouse.

It's like they suddenly swallowed every Republican lie about Reagan hook, line, and sinker, and loved the way it tasted.

"It's not a war on terror gone wrong, it's a war on American liberty gone right."

A Future of the Brave -

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Ooooooh, YAwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn

Posted by: rmctwo | January 18, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

rmc, it's rather hard, no matter how much Reagan was harmful, to outdo or even tie King George.
George is simply a horror to live through.

Posted by: vwcat | January 18, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Henryvu, I don't believe Obama is running for vp.
Actually he has stated quite clearly he is not and will not be a vp.
Again, people are just so caught up in their own world they cannot step back and just see the facts.
People have become too reactionary and don't listen and don't process and think.
It's all about who can go off the edge the most without listening to what people say or what the reality is.

Posted by: vwcat | January 18, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama is stating a fact. Obama's judgement continues to be be excellent. Obama is by far the best candidate running for President. He is refreshing and inspiring. He will inspire a lot of people to do a lot of good when he becomes President. His positive outlook is contagious and is exactly what is needed as we enter what could be a deep recession. Being a wonk won't work. Top-down "solutions" will not work nearly as well as bottom-up solutions.

Change - health care that places a premium on public health and community health, where Obama is focused.

Change - an economy where smaller entrepreneurs thrive and help motivate everyone to innovate, educate and rejuvenate, where Obama is focused.

Change - a policy toward Pakistan that is tough and no nonsense. Biden for VP in an Obama administration.

Change - believing we "can do" ala Bob Kennedy and Obama rather than demonstrating we "can't do" like some others.

Change - not "bringing people along" but inspiring people to initiate change at every level, an inspiration that Obama brings.

Change - away from the "fear politics", "sound byte politics", "petty politics" to a politics that is much more inclusive and much more of a bridge to a prosperous future than the alternatives - that is what Obama will help catalyze.

Posted by: cbday | January 18, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

RE Lylepink's: "I have been trying to figure this guy for a long, long time . . ."

Lyle, the reason Obama perplexes you is that he's not a cynic who rhetorically despises everyone on the other side of the aisle while sharpening his sword for any ally that gets in his way. Obama is so rare in this regard that he becomes hard to understand in the context of our recent political history. And yes, you can thank Lee Atwater, Dick Morris, Mark Penn, and Karl Rove for that wonderful world of political mendacity.
I know from your posts that you are a passionate Hillary Clinton supporter. After Kerry lost in 2004, I thought I would support Hillary as well (albeit with little joy) and watch the Clinton machine try to grind out a 50% +1 victory in a brutal campaign. I felt badly burned after supporting the "hope" candidate of 2004, Howard Dean, and watching his campaign implode from the inside as a volunteer. Obama's 2004 convention speech moved me, and, even before he reached the peroration, I exclaimed out loud he would be on the Dem ticket someday. A year ago, I wondered if his campaign was naive, and if his time was not yet at hand. Over the last year, however, I have seen that most Americans do "get" his message, and it is the way forward. We have reached a tipping point in our history, and the next president will be judged by far weightier criteria that whether he or she can ram health care reform through congress.
Our world standing is in tatters. We are due to be over taken as the world's biggest economy within this generation of leaders. The balance of powers has been tilted dangerously toward the Executive. Our civil liberties are in peril, and we are on the brink of four decades of dynastic politics. Think back to another candidate who had risen from the Illinois State House; another tall, thin man from a humble background who was an exquisite orator who built a new political coalition and led this country out of far darker times than these. It's just a matter of approach and perspective, but I'll take my chances on another Lincoln vs. four years of brutal, knife fighting politics in service of ephemeral if well meaning poll tested policy adjustments.
Given time, in a less adversarial arena, I know that you are fundamentally optimistic about the American Experiment, and you would come to agree with me.

Posted by: jonathanmstevens | January 18, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"Actually the reason Bill is thought so mythical now is he was followed by the worst president in history."

I think Bush and reagan are tied.

Posted by: rmctwo | January 18, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Last time he compared him with JFK and MLK, now he compared him with RR, next time he will compare him with Jesus Christ.
Long live Saint Obama de Oprah

Posted by: henryvu | January 18, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Obama just lost the VP ticket to Edwards, such an idiot.

Posted by: henryvu | January 18, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me that many people are being rather simple minded here.
As a democrat who railed against reagan in the 80s, the one thing I can say is he did transform politics for good or bad.
That is historically fact.
There was a sea change and he changed the direction of politics for a generation.
And Bill Clinton did not. He was an average president too caught up with his dramas and self to be able to take the country back from the rightward track. Actually the reason Bill is thought so mythical now is he was followed by the worst president in history. If he had been followed by an average president, democrats would see the Clintons in reality and not in mythical and nostalgic terms.
All Obama did was state a fact. Reagan was a force in politics and took many democrats with him in his victories.
Obama's movement is about doing the same only in a progressive track.
If people bothered to listen and not go off the deep end in reacting they would see this clearly.
And as aside, I have to think Obama was also jabbing the Clintons for failing to take the country back to a more progressive way from the course Reagan set it on.
In many ways, the fact is that Clinton failed the country and especially the democrats. He was simply too opportunistic.
Obama was not praising Reagan he was simply stating historical truth.

Posted by: vwcat | January 18, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: havok26 | January 18, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

It's really disappointing to see so much racism being expressed in this thread.

It's also disappointing that the divisiveness in our country makes so many of us self-righteous about our own beliefs and angrily dismissive of anyone who might disagree or offer a different perspective.

So, I'm very appreciative of egc52556's comment at 11:12 p.m. on 01/17:

"Democrats -- and I am one -- need to wake up to the simple fact that about 1/2 the voters in America are not Democrats. I want a president who can respect the heroes of 'the other side' and acknowledge their accomplishments."

I could be wrong, but I think that the people of our country are growing tired of being polarized, American against American. I think that most of us would like to come together and build a stronger nation, unified to overcome the awful problems we are faced with in this particular time in our history. So, for what it's worth, I'm glad that Barack Obama could recognize Ronald Reagan for his role in capturing the imagination of so many people. He (Obama) may appeal to a cross-section of the population in much the same way, and may well be able to lead the nation forward as far and as deeply as Reagan led it backward.

Posted by: washpost16 | January 18, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe he is citing Ronald Reagan. Reagan had the worst hairstyle in presidential history (excepting John Adams). And besides, Obama's hair is nothing like Reagan's. Now I'm not getting racial here, but no amount of dippity-do is going to give Obama that pompador wave.
Obama should just be who he is and stop comparing himself to other leaders. Frankly, I've went bald during the Reagan administration. I am just soo disappointed in Obama.

Posted by: mmoran1 | January 18, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama ought to see a psychiatrist to check if his brain is O.K. First he wanted to be JFK,then MLK,now Rano Rega,I think next one he wants to be is God. How pathetic,maybe his brain is screwed up by all the cocaine he took when he was young, after all. Just for the record,Rano Regan was the guy who started this economic trouble we have today. On the one hand he lower the tax for the rich, called supply side economy. He believed the trigger down theory. We all know wrong that was,there was triggering down wealth all right,it all went to the pockets of the rich 2%. People all think Regan's time was prosperous, hell, if you let me write blank checks to spend I can do that too. He was credited to bring down the Russian Communist Union,what happpen now. It coming back stronger and more dagerous than before. Regan my foot,he was only an actor. Maybe,that is who Obama really is too.

Posted by: johnycheng1 | January 18, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

" He's the anti-Reagan."

No one is all bad...

Who do you think Hill's VP will be?

Edwards? Obama? Clark? Powell? Britney Spears?

Posted by: rmctwo | January 18, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

"...that said, these comments weren't meant for a mass audience, because let's face it, many American's don't have the intellectual depth to be able to derive the correct meaning from the comments..."


My eyes are really being opened today.

How many Obama supporters are this elitist and actually think that when their candidate says something completely wrong other people are just too stupid to realize it's right?

My goodness Obama supporters. Stop and think for a moment. No matter how smart you think you are.

There are lots of men who have appealed to their generation, and reinvigorated economies, and gave their people hope, and were later found to be brutal and inhumane leaders or tyrants.

I mean, would it be OK for Obama to "kindof" admire Adolph Hitler for the way he inspired his people and revitalized their economy so quickly, despite all the evil things he did at the same time?

And if he did, and didn't even mention the horrific legacy of Hitler while doing so, would that be OK?

I think not.


Obama's candidacy is over.

"The weak always surrender freedom, at the first opportunity."

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Things are getting a little confusing. Is Obama on the ticket for the Republican primary? Reagan the one who changed the tax code to favor the richest and did nothing for the poor and the minority is Obama's concept of a great leader? I think he lost his way. Does he have time to change party?

Posted by: shrestbin | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Notice how the Obama candidacy actually depresses the GOP vote. There's something about Obama that makes Republicans want to stay home on polling day.

Maybe it's his Reaganite messiah complex. But seriously, the great thing about Obama is that he could potentially hurt the Republican party as much as Reagan hurt the Democratic party. 57-27 Vs Romney? Sure, that would tighten up by November, but it would still be more than a landslide, it would be a tidal wave that washes away the foul GOP.

If they pick McCain, Obama is the difference between victory and defeat.

If they pick Romney or Huckabee, Obama is the difference between beating the Republicans and really, really wounding them.

Wouldn't you like to really wound the Republicans? You know you want to...

Posted by: Bud0 | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a lucky idiot, he wants to wins the battle of Carolina, and risk to lose the America war, and he will, started the race battle and caused the un-repaired damage to Dems.
The sad thing is he drags the Dems to lose with him. Now he tries to compare him with Reagan???? I don't know if this guy has a very slim idea about what Reagan did to Dems? It is a most stupid thing that I have ever known from a Dem candidate

Posted by: henryvu | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"I'm totally in love with how Obama will make conceptually and historically accurate comparisons that also happen to be something that makes people who don't think outside the constructs of red and blue go absolutely insane."

Historically accurate ? In what way ? Can you please explain ?

Here's a history lesson for you intellectuals out there - Reagan caught the attention of the nation because he espoused a deeply conservative idea - he believed in the individual more than he believed in the Government. People wanted less Government, Less Taxes, Less Regulations and a check on the unbridled troublemaking power of the unions

Obama believes in "Good Government " - he wants to believe that he can do to liberalism what Reagan did to conservatism. One small problem though - people who voted for Reagan loved his open derison for Govt, his economic policies, his belief in the individual. Obama/Liberalism has contrarian views on all the above three items.

Unless people want a nanny state where the Govt will hold people's hands on every small thing, higher taxes, more welfare, they WILL NOT take to Big L Liberalism. No matter if it's Obama or Clinton who gives it to them.

Look at the stance he has on the mortgage crisis - no different from Clinton, Edwards, conservative pretender Dubya. He wants to bailout every one who could nt understand what mortgage agreements they were getting into and did not bother to. The mortgage terms might have as well been written in Spanish, no one really cared.

What would Reagan do ? Not go around bailing out individuals/ Wall Street fatcats who deserve to be in the position they are in.

"Intellectuals" who support Obama are indeed too intelligent for their own good

Posted by: NaSa | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a lucky idiot, he wants to wins the battle of Carolina, and risk to lose the America war, and he will, started the race battle and caused the un-repaired damage to Dems.
The sad thing is he drags the Dems to lose with him. Now he tries to compare him with Reagan???? I don't know if this guy has a very slim idea about what Reagan did to Dems? It is a most stupid thing that I have ever known from a Dem candidate

Posted by: henryvu | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Things are getting a little confusing. Is Obama on the ticket for the Republican primary? Reagan the one who changed the tax code to favor the richest and did nothing for the poor and the minority is Obama's concept of a great leader? I think he lost his way. Does he have time to change party?

Posted by: shrestbin | January 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Things are getting a little confusing. Is Obama on the ticket for the Republican primary? Reagan the one who changed the tax code to favor the richest and did nothing for the poor and the minority is Obama's concept of a great leader? I think he lost his way. Does he have time to change party?

Posted by: shrestbin | January 18, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

All the presidential candidates are big tax and spenders, which is exactly what we don't want, all except Ron Paul. Juan McCain says he'll take his veto pen to fix the economy. Yeah yeah what is he going to cut? Nothing. And this is the frontrunner, leading us to doom. The same with Obama. He says he's Reagan? He's the anti-Reagan. Today Huckster says he will send all illegals home. Yesterday he said he'd give free college to illegals children.

Posted by: washpost3 | January 17, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"Only Obama can beat McCain."

Are you kidding? McCain will eat Obama alive.

Hillary is the Dem that McKane will watch the supreme court chief justice swear in as the 44th pres of the U.S. People are sick and tired of republican greed and callousness. Hillary will inherit the worse mess this country has ever been in.

No, I 'm not part of a liberal conspiracy. I am a radical.

Btw, The clinton's will return all the missing "W" keys from the whitehouse keyboards. ;)

Posted by: rmctwo | January 17, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Just what we need, more Reagan economics.

That trickle has turned into a yellow stream from Wall St.



Posted by: wtortorici | January 17, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

When people look back to about the 1950s and for those of us that studied politics since that time, knows Nixon was overall a good Prez, despite his own hatred for many ethnic groups. Regan done more to harm the middle and lower wage earners by his hatred of the unions, which early in his career, was a strong supporter of them when they helped him, along with his well concealed hatred of blacks. Another thing most of the under age 50 have no idea what actually was going on during this period of time because The Media was not reporting FACTS then, and now it is even worse. A good source is the Senator Proxmire "Golden Fleece" awards. Bill Clinton was by far the best Prez we have had during those ties and up to the present.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Jeez people! Not Don Regan, the president's chief of staff... the quote in the article was by Ron Reagan, Jr., the President's (liberal) son!

Friggen' troglodytes here.

Posted by: egc52556 | January 17, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

U.S. President Clinton referred to the Roosevelt tax system.
And, a graduated tax increase of the income tax was done to the well-to-do population. The
tax revision of the Ounou load strengthening was carried out resolutely.
As a result, global competitiveness was strengthened again. The big success was paid to the
structural reform of Cabcou, economic growth, and the fiscal reconstruction.

Payment of progressive tax
The high income earner helps poor people by doing an altruistic act.
It is pushing up to usual life as for them. Personal consumption is continued it
Economic growth of which it is basic who is Susumu of Ma is brought. The
economic ambience is made good further and the chance of further income acquisition of
the high income earner has been brought self-recurring. The truth of economic growth.
It is important not to allow the economical weak to drop out of the competitive world.
Let's always make it experience in the oneness and make the system that forges. The
expansion and the personal consumption expansion of the effective, economical
production war potential are brought even if it sees in the nation.

Posted by: tyamoni | January 17, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

This proves that obama may be a little too educated for his own base... he'd be right... if he was a historian trying to talk about voter movements and nation-wide sentiment... but he's a democrat running for the democratic nomination.... bad move!

Posted by: dejemibarca | January 17, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

This is only the latest example of Obama's slide to the right. The Beltway loves this, of course. Whether the voters do remains to be seen. If they want a Republican, wouldn't it make more sense just to vote for one?

First came Obama's infamous dogwhistle to the Village that put Social Security in play, a right wing talking point. Then there was calling unions "special interests", a right wing talking point. Then there was tax cuts as a panacea, a right wing talking point. Meanwhile, the Obama Fan Base consistently leverage right wing talking points like "trial lawyers" to trash Edwards, not to mention Hillary hatred, all the while explaining what Obama "really means." Then there was the trashing of Gore. And finally we've got the infamous Florida brochure, where Obama encourages Republicans to become "Obamacrats" just for one day to vote for him, and then re-up as Republicans again. Obama is a highly skilled politician and a Harvard-schooled lawyer. None of this can be accidental.

Personally, I think Obama should give some serious thought to going ahead and running as a Republican. He's as phony as the Mittster, but his oratory is a lot better, and he's got better hair.a

Posted by: lambert_strether1 | January 17, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse


How many times was Obama's mom divorced?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama WAS NOT talking about Regan in a way that was misinterpreted by "less sophisticated" or "less intelligent" readers. Obama was name dropping Regan in hopes of getting more votes in the fall. Unfortunately think he lost more votes than he won.

He certainly lost mine.

He should also fire the adviser that suggested this remark.

Posted by: spencerroach | January 17, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Hitler promoted change, was charismatic, and had popular support. He accomplished many things and changed Germany like no one before him.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 17, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Problem is, Obama may compare himself to annoying Republicans. But if Hillary's nominated, there may be an annoying Republican in the White House.

Generic Democrat 48%, Generic Republican 33%
Obama (D) 43%, McCain (R) 42%
McCain (R) 48%, Clinton (D) 45%
Obama (D) 54%, Huckabee (R) 31%
Clinton (D) 49%, Huckabee (R) 40%
Obama (D) 57%, Romney (R) 27%
Clinton (D) 50%, Romney (R) 39%
McCain (R) 48%, Edwards (D) 40%
Edwards (D) 48%, Huckabee (R) 33%
Edwards (D) 50%, Romney (R) 34%

Notice that while all three Dems can beat Romney or Huckabee, Obama does by the widest margin. Only Obama can beat McCain.

Also notice how, when Hillary is the Democrat candidate, the GOP vote shoots up. She actually gets more votes than Obama does against McCain, but is crushed by a stampede of ABC (anything but Clinton) voters to the Republicans.

Plus there's her smug war support, which she clearly only dropped when politically expedient, and her threats against Iran.

I'll just about take Obama's Reaganite messiah complex over that, especially since Hillary is UNELECTABLE anyway.

Backing Hillary in the primaries? Say hello to President McCain.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 17, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama's comment is about the conditions in the nation that enabled Reagan to tap into the feelings of the people during those years.

"...(which is what we tap into what people are feeling)....what we want is clarity, etc."

Posted by: info | January 17, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

From reading the above posts I can find a strong argument to do away with the program "no child left behind". Too many were pushed ahead minus basic reading and listening skills.

Thank God for the ones who have aquired them, they can and do diffuse the lightening rods the snake oil salespersons use to twist the masses into hating anyone not like them. They are the ones who keep a society from tipping over to the dark side.

Just check out the lightening rods Huckabee has been using to pander to a pocket of votes in South Carolina...Confederate flag, God and the Constitution. And on the other side of the battlefield, Clinton's camp uses Dr. King, fairytale, and drugs.

And today Edwards attacked Obama's words which made me seriously doubt he heard or read them in their entirety with any smidgen of intelligence which seriously changes my opinion of him. Hmm...was he pushed ahead? And funnier yet the words abortion and same sex marriages are hardly spoken. Those were the hot buttons for the past 2 elections. Did those issues get resolved to everyones satisfaction?

Politics are dirty but the Media adds the crap to it when they use sound bites and headlines. My paper is a great example, they chose a headline that goes with their fundamental philosophy and the first couple of sentences go along with it, but the true story is buried further down where it is a well known fact most readers never bother to read. And even funnier if you read the complete article they repeat paragraphs as filler.

Please, if you are too lazy to read the whole article, listen to the whole quote, or seek out the whole truth... don't bother to vote. Our country right now more than ever needs it's citizens as the grounding for the lightening rods.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 11:43 PM

Posted by: AverageJane | January 17, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

First off, I've yet to hear what Obama was responding to -- so it's really difficult to frame his comments, as I don't have a reference for why he was making the comments.
Second, this is the first newspaper that has released excerpts as far as I know, from the editorial board interview... which seems odd -- that said, these comments weren't meant for a mass audience, because let's face it, many American's don't have the intellectual depth to be able to derive the correct meaning from the comments --Democrats see Reagan as bad -- Republicans see Reagan as good -- so when a person that is suppose to be partisan makes a statement that was completely unbiased(neither good nor bad), the majority of Democrats wonder why he's saying good things about Reagan, when he made a completely intellectual statement of opinion on why Reagan got such a huge outpouring of support and how that support caused a change in trajectory for this nation, all true by the way-- it had nothing to do with Reagan being good or bad -- so I just don't get what the big fuss is about...

Personally, I think he was having a serious conversation about his views/opinions and lost track of the fact that if they printed or released video of what he was saying, it might be perceived as agreement, just by not damning Reagan's policies... in other words, he forgot he was 'live' and he has to filter and pick every last word and reference he makes, even when the sum total of his statements has no impact for or against -- -- of course, Edwards has seized on this and if anyone is pandering it would be him... pandering to those unable or unwilling to siphon through Obama's high minded academic speak, which is bound to get him in trouble again --

An unfortunate reference choice for Obama -- OR maybe not, we shall see, Reagan is loved by many people, he's feeling the heat from the half of the country that really felt the sting of the Reagan years, if Obama last long enough it might pay dividends from the other half of the country that think Reagan was heaven sent...

Posted by: sheckywoo | January 17, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama has spent virtually his entire career in public service - either as a U.S. Senator, Illinois state senator, civil rights attorney, constitutional law professor, or community organizer in urban, working-class chicago neighborhoods. After graduating Harvard Law as President of Law Review, he turned his back on big money corporate law firm jobs to return to the chicago neighborhoods he had served as an organizer to run a voter registration drive and eventually go into civil rights law. He was courted by federal courts judges to take up prestigious clerkships that would give him access to enormous paydays down the road, and turned his back on those positions too. Beyond all of this, he is the son of a Kenyan goat-herder, and was raised by his mother and working-class Kansan Grandparents, sharing directly in the difficulties they faced.

More than any other candidate on the ballot, Senator Obama understands the hardships faced by working and middle class Americans. His shout out to Reagan's gravitas and personal relationship with the electorate will certainly be seized upon by his opponents, but it should not distract the rest of us to objectively give Senator Obama the enormous credit he deserves.

Posted by: maq1 | January 17, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Dear Martinedwinandersen,

What do you think someone to offer as an euology. Go and say bad things about the person.

You are really biased.

Posted by: VoterfromIL | January 17, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

A simple "yes" or "no" would have sufficed."

But alas, we do not always get the answer we want.

Just ask the American people.

Who would have thought that the Democrats brave new "hope" for America would admire Ronald Reagan, or that the Democrats, after graciously being awarded the House and Senate, would have only accelerated their cooperation with Bush and the subversion of our Constitution.

And we thought they were going to restore it, punish those who had subverted it, and reestablish the rule of law in this land.

I must admit they really fooled me, and millions of others, on that one.

"I at once understood everything and nothing at all. A victory, accompanied by defeat. A war, with no prisoners. A threat, with no substance. A fear, with no end. A sorrow, with no comfort. And a land, with no freedom."

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 17, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Did you hear that, zeiglelm, sheryllarson, zounds, davelucy, gtaylor301, kissman24x, carolinwoodstock, jbriggs56, and fredlevy? Bud0 says you are all being disingenuous. Are you part of some vast left-wing conspiracy?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I grew up hating Ronald Regan and I will die hating him. That man was worse than Nixon.

Mr. Obama, you have just lost my vote.

Posted by: spencerroach | January 17, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

It's simply no excuse to say that Obama was merely admiring Reagan for his ability to tap into the spirit of the times. He has by doing so explicitly associated himself with a man not known for his union friendly policies, to put it mildly. And this from the man who has just secured the backing of Nevada's largest union? Obama is no friend of working class Americans as he has so aptly just demonstrated.

I hope the union caucus goers on Saturday switch their support to HRC to register their disappointment!

Posted by: amurphy | January 17, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

So, I'm totally in love with how Obama will make conceptually and historically accurate comparisons that also happen to be something that makes people who don't think outside the constructs of red and blue go absolutely insane. I like Edwards fine, but to watch him go bonkers and, at the same time, also missing the entire point of the statement is funny. To put it arrogantly, there's a reason that Obama has consistently won the votes of intellectuals in this primary season.

Posted by: jpc7k | January 17, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse


Careful what you wish for

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

What irritates me about Obama is that other people started deciding he was some kind of special vehicle for change, just based on his normal behaviour.

But now that we've had all the Obama=Change hooplah from the media, he feels he has to play the role. He did it better before he started trying.

I hope he stops comparing himself to historic figures, good or bad. It's pompous.
And those who say he wasn't comparing himself to Reagan are being disingenuous. He was.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 17, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama then:
In his first book, Dreams from My Father, Obama said he got into community organizing in Chicago in 1983 to "pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds."

Now he lost his mind.

Posted by: va-us | January 17, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse


A simple "yes" or "no" would have sufficed.

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: roadkillrefugee | January 17, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Jake D,

No doubt Don Regan, who ever he was, was better!

Posted by: rmctwo | January 17, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, here are my options:

1) no, I meant he was so busy doing community work

or 2) there's already been one apology today, we don't need another one

hmmmm, 1) will be seen for what it is, so I'll take door number two...


Posted by: ralphdaugherty | January 17, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the only candidate with a chance of winning that I fell totally comfortable with. he does make me feel hopeful. Hillary talks a good populist game but she and Bill have shown they love money a little too much and can be bought. Not since the "gilded age" have the super wealthy have had been better position o pay to shape government to their advantage. On the Republican side most of the candidates are truly scary. The only one I could support is Sen McCain. Pretty incredible since I disagree with his positions on the Iraq war and immigration.

Posted by: markswisshelm | January 17, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Do you ever think of how many innocent children have died that would have lived if the evil man known as Blackmun had never existed?"

Sorry, this thread is about Obama and Reagan, not abortion. But if we ever meet on another thread about abortion I would be more than happy to discuss it with you. You would be very surprised to hear my views.

And speaking of Reagan, Yikes!!! what a monster of a man he was. I'm still stunned that Obama admires him, in any capacity whatsoever.

"We became evil to fight evil, assuring its victory."

"The Republican and Democratic parties have delivered us into the hands of darkness."

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 17, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse


Don REGAN did that too?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"I have never heard or read anything that indicated Obama is "comparing" himself to any other leader. He often quotes from MLK or JFK or uses references (as in the case of Reagan) to allude to historical situations"
yeah and I think the Clintons were all for the casino workers caucusing in Nevada !

It might be hard for some Obama supporters to hear but your guy is an absolute egomaniac - he is very smooth at it, but he is egotistical and sometimes is insufferable.

When Clinton said that words dont mean action, Obama immediately took offense and cited MLK - please, she was whining about Obama NOT MLK !! Why hide behind Dr King for defense ? Its one thing for OTHER people to compare a candidate to historical figures but it is terrible when the candidate himself does it.

Some one needs to tell Obama that Reagan did not merely present an "optimistic" vision - he deeply believed in conservative ideas, in the liberty of the individual (this belief was the moral underpinning to his strong stand against the evil of Communism), in the fact that Government IS a bigger problem than the ones it "attempts" to solve. His strongly believed in free enterprise, less taxation and trickle down economics.

Modern day Liberalism is directly opposed to individuals taking care of their own lives. If Obama wants to channel Reagan then he should have supported privatization of Social Security - instead he says that the cap on taxable income for social security should be raised !! Reagan would nt exactly approve of that or call it "dynamism" or "enterprising" would he ?

No sane conservative would. Big L Liberal Obama is displaying such rarified chutzpah invoking Conservatisms favorite son when has absolutely nothing in common with him - may be Chris Matthews will love Obama more ;-0)

Posted by: NaSa | January 17, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"Who is "Regan"?

He sold light bulb in GE Theatre and used to smile and say, "Progress is our most important product."

Posted by: rmctwo | January 17, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Democrats -- and I am one -- need to wake up to the simple fact that about 1/2 the voters in America are not Democrats. I want a president who can respect the heroes of "the other side" and acknowledge their accomplishments.

Barack Obama is the only remaining Democratic candidate -- besides Dennis Kucinich -- who is willing to reject the partisan, hate, and fear politics of Bush, Cheney, and Rove.

About 15 years ago I told a friend that the greatest leaders are able to describe a simple clear vision for the future and persuade nations to follow them. As examples I gave Gandhi and Reagan. Obama has a way to go yet before I would include him in my list of "greatest leaders", but he is on the right track.


Posted by: egc52556 | January 17, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

This man's hubris amazes me. I agree with lylepink--I get the same feeling that something's wrong here. He does love to talk himself up. Can you imagine if Hillary had the temerity to say something like that? People would rip her to shreds.

I have a great idea--Oprah should buy herself her own country, and make Obama President of it. Those two egos would fit well together.

Until that happens, keep this man away from the presidency.

Posted by: audrey37 | January 17, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse


Perhaps Obama does not remember the Reagan years very well because he was sky high on cocaine?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

This man's hubris amazes me. I agree with lylepink--I get the same feeling that something's wrong here. He does love to talk himself up.

I have a great idea--Oprah buy herself her own country, and make Obama President of it. Those two egos would fit well together.

Until that happens, keep this man away from the presidency.

Posted by: audrey37 | January 17, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

You know... maybe he could participate in the some republican debates?

He could be "the great comunicator" and perhaps pull the country together while he's at it. Before lunch or after lunch?

Posted by: rmctwo | January 17, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I think the posters are misunderstanding Obama's comments, and how they emblemize his world view and approach to the presidency.

Obama is not necessarily approving of Reagan, he's simply pointing out how Reagan expressed and in some ways exploited the zeitgeist of his time. Essentially, he appeared when the country needed his particular world view and approach, just as Ike ascended to power to stabilize and reassure '50 U.S. after the trauma of a world war. By the same token, Kennedy emerged with a new sensibility to move us forward from the stability of the '50s.

Here, Obama's indicating that America stands at a similar tipping point, and someone with a more humanistic vision can help return us to an overarching sense of community that has been missing for decades. By citing Reagan, he's reaching well beyond his natural constituency, which is precisely his point: that he plans to be the president of blue and white America, not just those who read progressive blogs.

Posted by: fredlevy | January 17, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"Someone who doesn't make me want to puke when I see his stupid face on the TV."

I would gladly support repeal of the 22nd Amendment, just for you, heidg.

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Why does acknowledging why a person was popular make someone hypocritical? I don't care for George Bush or his policies, but I understand that people in my state (Arkansas) were attracted to his seemingly folksy charm.

All Barack did was recognize why Reagan might have appealed to voters. He didn't condone Reagan policies, nor did he vow to mimic them.

Being a well-thought-out person is a strength, and being able to acknowledge the other side is responsible. I commend Barack for that.

As an undecided voter, Barack's open candidness really appeals to me. I likely will vote for him despite the overflow of superficial judgments.

Posted by: Chris28 | January 17, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

How is this for change-
Someone who can walk and eat a pretzel at the same time.
Someone who doesn't substitute a malapropism for every fourth word uttered.
Someone who can coherently communicate ideas.
Someone who will meet with the leaders of all nations and not act like he's doing them a favor.
Someone who doesn't make me want to puke when I see his stupid face on the TV.
Someone w/ real intellectual capacity
I can live with that kind of change-Obama '08

Posted by: heidg | January 17, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse


Do you ever think of how many innocent children have died that would have lived if the evil man known as Blackmun had never existed?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama might not remember the Reagan years very well. Don't know.

Lord knows I do.


Posted by: ralphdaugherty | January 17, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how many people in this country are so quick to pass judgement that they are not even willing to listen to a simple statement that was placed in front of them. I watched the video and Obama did not claim to be the next Reagan, nor did he praise any of Reagan's policies. He simply stated that Reagan came upon the scene when the country was ready for great change and consequently he was able to tap into this dynamic. I am a democrat, I am not a Reagan fan, but I think there is a reason that you can't talk with a republican for 5 minutes without his name surfacing. Someone admires him.

The problem with the American democracy is that there are way too many people only willing to listen to themselves and those just like them. This is why big media selects our presidents and big pharma drugs our babies. And these are the opinions that Bill and Sean, and Hillary, and Wolfe, and thousands of others have told us that we should have. And this is why we are doomed for mediocracy.

Wake up and think for a moment. If you can't then just shut up.


Posted by: Brigadere | January 17, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse


Now I'm even more scared.

After reading all the defenses of Obama, from those who would decry it from anyone else, my head is spinning.

Obama wasn't making a scholarly "historical observation", he was fully supporting Reagan, stating that people felt there were excesses in an unaccountable government and that they needed the "clarity" and "optimism" and "dynamism" and "entrepreneurship" that Ronald Reagan, yes Ronald Reagan, provided, but Bill Clinton did not.

Go ahead and spin it anyway you want. But I've included the full transcript of his disgusting and heartless comments below. I mean my God, just think of how many innocent children have died that would have lived if the evil man known as Reagan had never existed.

To mention him with anything but condemnation and revulsion is beyond the pale of any loyal American.

"I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times. I do think that for example that 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. 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."
Barack Obama, 1/16/2008

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 17, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse


Who is "Regan"?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

He has not enumerated change nor have the methodology of change been presented to us.

Only a "feeling."

And what is defined and defended as change I define as Chump Change.

Wake up and smell the coffee...And recognize a smooth talking schmoozer as just that. And I'm going to make YOU feel good because You are Special.

Now ladies and lads open your minds to the empty but stirring rhetoric. What do you actually hear? Really...not What do you actually Feel...but What, of substance, is actually being said???

Not much. I haven't heard much. Admittedly I have been stirred...made to feel fine. But I DEMAND substance. And that is simply not a happening thing from the gifted spokesman for the Feeling of Change. All potatoes and very little meat.

I still want a doer and not a talker.

He's a talker.

And this RR thing indicates (to me) he's over his head and TOO MUCH IN LOVE WITH HIMSELF.

not for me. one less decision to make

Posted by: jato1 | January 17, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Reagan was a change president, but in a bad way. I completely agree with John Edwards' commentary about Reagan, a president who broke the unions and in so doing initiated the downfall of the middle class. Also a president who manipulated Americans' cowboy mythologies and macho belief systems paving the way for Bush, who did the same thing.

Posted by: skylark1 | January 17, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Regan was dumb, Obama is dumber.

Posted by: va-us | January 17, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

THERE IS NO "RONALD REAGAN, JR."!!!! His middle name is not WILSON!!!

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to think more before he speaks.

Reagan was a horrible president. The reason you saw so many street people starting with his administration is that he cut off funding to mental health services and the let the inmates out onto the street.

Just Like Bush and Cheney, Reagan had organic brain damage.

Let's hope Obama doesn't have any...

Posted by: svreader | January 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I have never heard or read anything that indicated Obama is "comparing" himself to any other leader. He often quotes from MLK or JFK or uses references (as in the case of Reagan) to allude to historical situations. If one gives a careful read to his recent discussion of Ronald Reagan, it seems that he does not make a judgement of whether Reagan's actions were good or bad--just that he caught the wave. I think RR Jr's remarks spoke quite well to what Obama's intentions were.

I agree with one of the recent comments that an intelligent reader/listener is required for some of what Obama is discussing. He has yet to learn that not everyone can comprehend his deeper thoughts. It is telling that Clinton appeals to less educated/blue collar voters and Obama is stronger with college educated. Obama is not a politician--does not know how to sell his message on a simplistic level. It is refreshing, but may keep him from winning.

Posted by: carolinwoodstock | January 17, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

What really bothers me is the smugness with which he dismisses Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.

Nixon was a crook, but he was a very capable and intelligent president--who knew how to work the bureaucracy. He instituted wage and price controls, opened China, and began the Environmental Protection Agency. He'd be considered a conservative Democrat today.

Clinton, for all his flaws, presided over peace and prosperity and focused on getting our economy back on track. He elevated the view of America and Americans in the world at large. He balanced budgets. He worked across the aisle to get things done. He was a pragmatist.

And then to turn around and praise Reagan? His was the prototype for the "image" presidency of Bush. Put on a cowboy hat and make him a cowboy. He led by photo ops. The idea that he "brought down the Berlin wall" is utter fiction. He also armed terrorists in exchange for hostages. He was blind to the problems of America at large.

Posted by: scottfkramer | January 17, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

with every republican candidate tripping over themselves to say they are Reagan-esque, this is just odd.

i guess if you are Obama and you start looking back at former presidents... obviously you don't want to praise W. - heaven forbid you support your rival's husband... h.w.bush is still a bush... skip reagan for a moment... carter was a big time loser, that a lot of people already think obama could be similar to... ford fell down all the time... nixon, no way... hillary has LBJ, and we don't want to drag out that horse and pony show again... JFK was assasinated during his presidency, people think that could happen to obama (god forbid), and he's already gotten in trouble for trying to make that comparison... and now you're back at eisenhower, who was a 4 star general, and half the population doesn't even remember. SO Reagan it is! I'm just like Reagan!!!

I'm a Clinton supporter -- but I agree with other folks on here who seem to support Obama -- best for him to avoid the comparisons himself, it's not helping.

And as a gay man, anyone who think Reagan is a good guy or someone who helps inspire anything but division and hate, when he couldn't even utter the word AIDS for 7 years of his presidency... at best, it was a poor comparison.

Hillary's still got my vote.

Posted by: priusdriver | January 17, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

We don't need this happy go lucky oreo firing up the kids and fat internet addicts that won't show at election time. Obama is only going to get better, he can wait eight years.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | January 17, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama was correct: Americans vote for optimism. How do you think Mitt Romney won Michigan?

What the voters actually get may of course be something entirely different.

I support Obama because, among his many other merits, he sees history clearly. Not how we'd like it to be, but how it was. That's the first step on the path to actually learning from history.

Go Obama!

Posted by: TomJx | January 17, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

CHANGE: Feeling that you are apart of America and not bein brutalized by it

CHANGE: Having someone speak for you and not against you just because you don't have millions.

CHANGE: Government for the people and by the people.

CHANGE: More take home pay and less taxes.

CHANGE: Feeling secure because our President isn't intimidating other countries or being a bully.

CHANGE: A President who listens to the people.

CHANGE: Healthcare you can afford.
CHANGE: Low gas Prices

By the way, anyone is better than BUSH!

Posted by: Mochaa924 | January 17, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse


Absolutely stunning.

Obama admires Reagan for putting us on a different "trajectory"?

My God.

Reagan put us on the trajectory to homelessness, union busting, secret government, and economic ruin.

I mean if nothing else, Reagan was one of the singularly most inhumane and evil men ever to occupy the Presidency, second only to Bush himself.

I'm a non-partisan voter with the same story as most of us, we voted strictly for the Democrats in the last elections expecting they would restore our Constitution, punish all those who have subverted it, and bring hope back to our great nation.

But instead we were betrayed. And yet even so, if no viable Independent candidate appeared I was going to have to vote for someone, and I was about an inch away from deciding it would be Obama.

Now it will be Edwards. I could never be convinced to vote for anyone who spoke the name "Ronald Reagan" without immediately following it with condemnations of disgust and abhorrence.

"The indefinite detention of extra judicially abducted American and foreign citizens in secret prisons without charge or representation where they are subject to institutionalized torture and murder is not only illegal, it is abhorrent, disgusting, and disgraceful to the nature and soul of any American."

"Justice is simple. Beware of those who declare it is not."

Posted by: SearingTruth | January 17, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

This piece misquotes Ron Reagan Jr. as saying: "And I think he's right. We are overdue for a cultural shift right." The actual quote is "we are overdue or a cultural shift."

Reagan, whether you like his policies or not, a very effective politician, as was JFK. Any politician who does not study and learn from such examples, as Reagan did from JFK (who Reagan pilloried while JFK was in office) is a fool.

Posted by: mnjam | January 17, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama's making an important point, but only got it half right. Yes, Reagan read the national mood of the early '80s and took control of the political zeitgeist. But his presidency was essentially a breakthrough in mass-marketing "optimism" rather than substance. While Reagan himself was liked, his policies were widely unpopular and his administration plagued with scandal. The important question is whether a president can use Reagan's approach to do more substantive good than just feel-good marketing.

Posted by: frankcam | January 17, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I want a doer and not a talker.

And if all you value is a FEELING...I suggest you go out and have your back rubbed or your rubber ducky squeezed. You will then have a feeling. the way...You say that Change is what you want. Change, change and more change...

Now...I ask you, with specificity...Define the Change You Want.
That's correct. D-E-F-I-N-E the change. Categorize the Change. Enumerate the Change.

Otherwise you guys will be left with a pocket empty of change, or holding the change, or insufficient change.

Wishing for change or having a "feelilng" will never convince me.

I challenge you, as an undecided voter, to LIST THE CHANGE.

Posted by: jato1 | January 17, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

No where did Obama say that he thought Reagan was a great president or supported his policies. He just said that he was a president that came in and brought change. Reagan certainly has turned out to be one of the most popular presidents of modern history regardless of what some on the left think of him. We haven't really had a president since Reagan that represents fundimental change. America seems to be ready for that kind of change this time around. Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidates do not represent that and will not bring that.

Posted by: kissman24x | January 17, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

You people just don't get it. Ron Jr. summed it up accurately,"They both came along at times when society was on the cusp of change and they are both agents of change". Of course Edwards will see it like that, he is trying to win votes for himself. Obama is honest, smart and what this country needs. Obama is just telling the truth. I am no fan of RR either but I don't hate him. After all, some Democrats did vote for him... HMMMM If Obama is going to unite this country, we can't keep seeing things as democrats and republicans. We are just people with different views. We need to rally around this man. It is sad because I think he will lose because people don't vote for good people, they continue to vote for the ones who don't have their best interest at heart. After all, look at all the people who voted for BUSH!

Posted by: Mochaa924 | January 17, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Reagan? I remember the day I read on the first page that he had slashed the National Arts Endowment budget by 50%, throwing numerous orchestras and museums into crisis. It was the same day that the Pentagon announced that they were ordering several hundred Abrams tanks, 13 of which would have covered the cuts to the arts budget.

Do you remember how he fired the air controllers, busting their union and the influence of every union since, giving ultimate control to the corporations?

And do you remember how he was given credit for the Soviet Union imploding?

Any politician laying claim to RR's mantle has either not read history or is to be suspected of advocating some very dubious policies.

Posted by: jcreitz | January 17, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

This shows that Obama is naive and too much of a hip-shooter to be President yet.


The Republicans are amazingly good at the BIG LIE.

Thanks to the web and Google, the Republicans will soon find that their lies don't work anymore because people can check their lies out and find out that they're lying.

Posted by: svreader | January 17, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Reagan an enemy of working Americans? Reagan implemented policies that saved the steel, auto, and semiconductor industries, negotiated a devaluation of the dollar that helped to slash the trade deficit, and managed to create a million new manufacturing jobs over his two terms, the longest economic expansion in postwar history. Contrary to Edwards's rhetoric, there is much more to helping working Americans than paying lip service to unions. Bill Clinton, for all his talk, was responsible for NAFTA, PNTR for China, and the strong dollar policy, all of which set America's manufacturing sector and industrial unions on the road to ruin. Who's the working class hero, John?

Posted by: kvonsch | January 17, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh Man! What was that? Obama, saying that Reagan was right for his times? Let's see, Unions where being forced to hire Blacks and minorities just before Reagan took office (I should know; I was a member of AFL-CIO Chicago Sheet Metal Local 73); Air Traffic Controllers were threatening to strike, and Reagan had them fired. A man was beaten to death in the Detroit area for owning a Toyota (I'm not making this up). Archie Bunker was one of the top TV shows in the country--Good Ole Racism. Jesse Helms fought against making Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. Ronald Wilson Reagan pulled the troops from Beirut after a suicide bomber drove his car into a US military Camp (terrorists don't care who's President), and America bought in to the premise that 'Everyone would get a piece of the Economic Pie'. Reagan was right for his time, all right. I don't know where Obama's logic lies in this statement. Edwards is dead on concerning some of the things Reagan implemented. But the Republicans can point out some feel-good moments, like the fall of the Soviet Empire. I don't think that went well either; the Russian economy fell, and with it came instability in the region. The Russian mafia took over, perpetuating a worldwide underground economy, Vladamir Putin took over, a former KGB officer who is doubly skeptical of the US. Mr. Obama, I'm supporting you for President not just because you can give folks feel-good moments, but because your plans for the nation are sound. Don't give your opponents, Republican or Democrat, a reason to question your logic. Don't let them say that you are not right for our time.

Posted by: jrev7620042000 | January 17, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

PS I'm not looking for optimism, or dynamism or entrepreneurship or any of those ghastly focus-group buzzwords.

I'm looking for (a) honesty and (b) peace.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 17, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm, am I in the right party? Reagan is hardly my hero in any way whatsoever. I was planning on voting for Obama on Super Tuesday, but I'm starting to think Edwards is the only Democratic candidate.

Posted by: cheriede | January 17, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Just like Hillary's LBJ v. MLK, Jr. quote. You understand what he was trying to say but why go there. If her quote wasn't racist then Obama's is not glorifying Reagan's policies but rather acknowleging Reagan's place in history for changing the political tide of his time. Yes Reagan's policies hurt the middle class and yes he is no champion of the Democratic party.

Read what Obama said and it speaks of the country being ready for a change in politics as usual or at least politics of the last 20 years. Sounds like he is likening his situation to the situation Reagan faced when the country was fed up with President Carter (long gas lines and high gas prices, a hostage situation in Iran that eventually prompted the US to arm and support a young rebel named Saddam Hussein, a failed rescue mission that ended with dead soldiers in Chad...sound like a famialr song? Hmmmn... I digress). Hillary was trying to do the same by likening her "get 'er done" credentials to LBJ making a "dream" (and fancy speeches, insert-Obama's a great speech maker, but I'm the only real president here) into law.

Both quotes rely upon an intelligent audience to read the message and not misinterpret. Probaly a poor analogy choice for both candidates because Americans don't think but react.

Obama better get his mind and campaign straight or it could be curtains.

Posted by: gtaylor301 | January 17, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Secret memo to Obama - Ninety percent of your supporters really don't like Republicans.

Leave the sucking up to the Right until the primaries are over, Obama.

Don't get carried away with this bipartisanship stuff.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 17, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. Ronald Reagan did bring about change. He converted the solidly Democratic south in the solidly Republican south by converting all the southern racists into Republicans.

Who is Obama going to convert into what?

And Obama supporters have been attacking Hillary over Dr. King. Reagan got the anti-Kings to become Republicans. Does this mean that Obama is going to tell the King haters he wants to kiss and make up?

And you Obamanuts wonder why the old line civil rights leaders are wary of Obama.

Posted by: wj_phillips | January 17, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Scruffy,

George Washington's father wasn't a US citizen, neither was Thomas Jefferson's...

They had "no business running for President" either, did they???

Posted by: VeganMilitia | January 17, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I have been trying to figure this guy for a long, long time, and every time I see and hear him speak, there is this "Feeling" I have that something is terribly wrong. I have mentioned this to several friend and they can't seem to understand him either. I've Posted about this "Feeling" asking if anyone could help me have a better understanding of this, no help so far, unless I missed it somehow.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

What this proves again is that Obama is not a seasoned politician.

If he was, he would have bashed any member of the other party.

If he was, he would have distorted something to make the former president seem ogreish.

Instead, he told what he believed to be the truth, and what nearly every historian would agree is a very accurate depiction of why Reagan, for many people, is a mythic leader, despite a very mixed record as President.

For this, all the partisans and seasoned politicians ridicule him.

The press, who are used to the way things are in politics, will jump on him, not because what he said was false, but because what he said was not what a seasoned politician would say.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 17, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Did Obama say he was going to try emulating Reagan from an ideological standpoint? Do the policy positions he takes resemble those of Reagan's in any way? All he was saying is that, like it or not Reagan changed this country in significant ways and he did it by bringing an optimistic and inspirational message to the people. Obama wants to do something similar. It is obvious that the change he wants to bring will be fundamentally different than Reagan's from a policy standpoint, but the means of doing it may be similar e.g. bringing back optimistic pride in our nation. With Reagan the emphasis was the military and business, with Obama the emphasis may well be civil rights, equal oportunity, constitutional principles, and civic pride.

Posted by: davelucy | January 17, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Let us note one thing that Edwards and perhaps others are missing: Obama never said he approved of Reagan's policies. All he said was essentially that Reagan was effective at accomplishing his policies. That's true whether you approve of Reagan's policies or not. Reagan got his program through Congress, something Bill Clinton certainly had trouble doing. Obama was just reciting a known historical fact. He also hopes -- as does Edwards, we're sure -- that he can be as successful as Reagan in getting his own agenda enacted.

Posted by: zounds | January 17, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I understand that terrorists have great patience and are magical liars. Obama's father was not a US Citizen and he has no business running for President. The fact that he is appealing to so many people mystifies me. He is a Black snake-oil salesman who the media are promoting just to stir things up. Reagan was a great man. Obama is probably related to Osama or Hussein...isn't his name Hussein Obama>>>

Posted by: Scruffy1970 | January 17, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Geez, people. In his interview, Obama is stating a FACT: Ronald Reagan triggered a conservative revolution in this country. Obama doesn't say that he approved of it--he merely is stating a fact. As someone who never voted for Ronald Reagan and spent her journalistic career during the 1980s writing about his administration's right-turn policies, I despair that our candidates can no longer comment on history without journalists, spinmeisters et al parsing every last word--and turning them to their advantage. This should be beneath those who call themselves Democrats. (Check out what Huffington Post's Rachel Sklar said on Abrams' MSNBC show tonight. She was , to borrow Hillary Clinton's word, "pathetic.") Those who spin Obama's factual comment against him are being intellectually dishonest at best. Makes me want to send them all back to school for re-education.

Posted by: sheryllarson | January 17, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

One of the Republicans needs to get Nancy Reagan to endorse him, right NOW!!! Isn't one of the next GOP Debates back at the Reagan Library again?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice for him to be honest, but this stuff isn't what Dems want to hear. Why not mark it with a caveat about the many troubling things Reagan did/represented?

Posted by: parkerfl | January 17, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama is correct. It was probably a politically foolish statement to make and it will be demagogued to death by Edwards and Clinton. Even those who despised Reagan's policies and regarded the man as an amiable dunce (as did I) should recognize (as have I) that Reagan was the most important figure in a massive cultural and political realignment in this country (even if you didn't like the results). I believe Obama could do the same.

Posted by: jonathanmstevens | January 17, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

But his comments weren't comparing his policies to Reagan's, he was just comparing his dynamic image to the one Reagan projected in that election. His leadership, he seems to be asserting here, will be the democrat's version of the Reagan Presidency, and one that will dramatically turn the country in the "right" direction.

Posted by: zeiglelm | January 17, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama IS being himself, and he's right, too. As candidates, the one thing that Obama and Reagan have in common is insistence that this election is about more than politics- it's about capitalizing on something the country is ready for. As vast as the differences in policies are, they do have that in common.

Of course, it's not going to make for a good soundbyte, especially during primary season. Normally, a democrat citing Reagan would be political suicide. No doubt, John Edwards has already capitalized on this perceived "gaffe" by Obama. Edwards' doing this is no(t much) different than Rudy shooting down Ron Paul's suggestion that American foreign policy over the past 50 years led to 9/11 during a Republican debate. They're all pandering to their respective bases.

This comment by Obama is indicative of the open-mindedness he would bring to the presidency- and if it's not indicative of that, it's surely indicative of the intellectual stimulation he would bring, something that has been conspicuously missing from American politics for way too long.

Posted by: Stroodlepaloozaband | January 17, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

he's right. whether you liked reagan's policies or not, he tapped into a broad-based sense of decency. that barack has the balls to say something so non-PC only raises him in my estimation.

Posted by: washpost01 | January 17, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The way Hillary and Barak are alternating with their obnoxious statements, I suspect that the last one to speak before the primary in my state is the one who will NOT get my vote.

Posted by: rjoff | January 17, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Edwards. What Reagan did to unions was a disaster. The Culinary union should listen to Obama's comments.

Posted by: duganal | January 17, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Immediately after Reagan died--on June 28, 1994--CNN reported that:

"Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, issued a statement that praised the former president for his optimistic outlook."

The CNN report continued:

"'Hillary and I will always remember President Ronald Reagan for the way he personified the indomitable optimism of the American people, and for keeping America at the forefront of the fight for freedom for people everywhere,' their statement said."


More interestingly--and in retrospect understandably, given their common penchant for lying--President Bill Clinton eulogized Richard Nixon at his funeral like this: "May the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close."

(See: The New York Times, April 28, 1994;

Now the Clinton camp hypocritically makes Obama's statement of fact--that Reagan ushered in a sea-change in U.S. politics--into some claim that Obama is less than genuine in his politics.

Elsewhere I have blogged that Hillary Clinton is the Democrats' Richard Nixon in pumps.

Need there be any more proof?

Martin Edwin Andersen
Churchton, Maryland

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | January 17, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I remember it a bit differently. RR trickled down an economy to the point that homeless were living on the sidewalks of nyc. Well, let's say they weren't there, except on the Bowery, before RR was around. What else? Hmm. Judge Walsh wrote a book called "Firewall." That might explain a thing or two about the spirit of America the RR caught. And a minor issue of a not so minor national debt...very spiritual. And putting American public education into the krapper...very much to the American spirit.

And of course, RR single handedly defeated the Soviet Union.
They watched his films and surrendered.

Perhaps the Senator from Illinois was too busy studying for his college boards...SAT' be aware of all this good stuff.

Me thinks he's going after the Reagan Democrats.
Me think's he realizes the Reagan Democrats can be his undoing. And the undoing of the Democrats come November.

So he makes peace soon and makes peace early.

my 2 cents worth

Posted by: jato1 | January 17, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama's mouth is his best friend and worst enemy. First he wants to bomb Pakistan and now he thinks he's Ronald Reagan. I think he wants to be a uniter not a divider too. A man of many personalities.

Posted by: bghgh | January 17, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama, please be yourself. You are scaring me!

Posted by: meldupree | January 17, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I served with Ronald Reagan -- I knew Ronald Reagan -- you, sir, are no Ronald Reagan (Ron "Junior" ain't in the Reagan Corner either ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama is appearing to be like any opportunistic politician.He says one thing and does another. We all know that politics is a contact sport, but he was one individual who I did not expect to pander to whomever he is speaking to a the time.

First of all he should quit comparing himself to all these people, JFK, MLK, and now Reagan. He should allow others to do that.

It seems that he doesn't trust his audacity of hope to get him through the primaries, so he has to resort to mudslinging like all the other politicians who are seeking the nomination.

What a disappointment! His halo is tarnished.

Posted by: LadyEagle | January 17, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

A poll was released of Nevada today, and has Clinton up 9%:

But clearly no one knows what is going on in the state given that polling is nearly impossible there right now.

Posted by: campaigndiaries | January 17, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

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