Print Columns   |   Web Chats   |   Blog Archives   |  

This Blog Endorsed by Ronald Reagan!

The staff surrounding any president or presidential candidate spends enormous time and effort making sure that almost any American who meets the Chief Executive gets a memento of their encounter. Young George Allen got his souvenir, a photo of himself with Ronald Reagan, when, as a law student at the University of Virginia, Allen was put in charge of Young Virginians for Reagan. That's the senator's tie to the Gipper and decades later, Allen is using it for all he can.

Jim Webb served Reagan as his Secretary of the Navy and earlier as assistant secretary of defense. As presidents do for any of their appointees, Reagan was happy to say lovely things about Webb. Now Webb, the anti-Iraq war Republican in Virginia's Senate race this fall, is using the Reagan clip in his TV ads. Apparently, Webb is so convinced that Virginia is a rock-solid Republican state that his campaign strategy allows him to go after GOP voters without the slightest regard to what Dems might make of a verbal hug from Reagan.

The Allen camp, rather than tacking to the center and asking just what kind of Democrat this Webb guy really is, chooses to push back with an appeal to the right, ginning up an outraged request from Nancy Reagan for Webb to stop using the late president's words and image on behalf of his nominally Democratic candidacy.

The Webb side responds with this point-by-pointer on the Allen attack.

If comparative closeness to Ronald Reagan is the arbiter of who ought to be elected to the U.S. Senate, Webb is clearly ahead in Virginia. Here, courtesy of that great fount of insider political reporting, NFL.com, is Allen's own account of his great encounter with the Gipper:

"But the one who motivated me to get involved in politics was Ronald Reagan. In fact, all of that comes back to football. When my father was with the Rams, he came in 1966, and that fall was when Ronald Reagan was elected governor. And he would actually come to practices. That's when I got to meet Governor Reagan. And then we moved to Virginia in late '70, '71 and I was telling everyone how great Ronald Reagan was. But I only took one political science class. I had no idea that I would actually get involved in politics. Well, in 1976 Ronald Reagan was running for president and they asked me to be chairman of Young Virginians for Reagan. I said, "Well, I don't know anything about organized politics." They said, "Well, we know you like Reagan." I said, "Of course, but I don't understand the intricacies of politics." They said, "You'll do fine, just tell people why you like Ronald Reagan." I did it, we won Virginia, and lost the national nomination. But that's what got me involved, Ronald Reagan."

Given how low the bar is for claiming an endorsement, I am now pleased to announce that Mr. Ronald Reagan has endorsed Raw Fisher, Potomac Confidential, the column, and any and all of my other endeavors. See, when I was a kid, I collected political buttons and I wrote to the Reagan campaign in 1968 asking for buttons. I received a letter, on official stationery, saying that the governor personally thanked me for my (presumed) support. I rest my case. You are reading the only blog officially endorsed by President Ronald Reagan. I will put this up on our TV ads, as soon as you do your part and send in the dollars we so desperately need to get our message out via television. Thank you.

By Marc Fisher |  September 18, 2006; 7:02 AM ET
Previous: 10 Reasons Why Tony Williams Might Be AU's Next President | Next: Angelos Beats Retreat from Downtown D.C.

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



What we really need are not candidates endorsed by the departed, but candidates who endorse the ideas and ideals of their predecessors. Let's let Ronnie rest a while and start with Wahington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 18, 2006 9:20 AM

Can't help but love how Webb pointed out that the big Iraq War promoters(President Bush and V.P.Cheney) and cheerleaders like Sen. George Allen have never served in combat. It's amazing how eagerly they send other young people off into combat when they never went.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 10:19 AM

I think Webb should be allowed to use video clips of his own life.

Webb supports Nancy Reagan's issue: stem cell research. Allen doesn't. I wonder if she knows that.

Allen has been going around saying he is a Jeffersonian (a very dubious claim). Are any of Thomas Jefferson's descendants objecting?

Posted by: David Campbell | September 18, 2006 10:30 AM

The abiding problem for Democrats nationally is, as it has been for years, that their most prominent politicians are either weak on defense or uninterested in it. As badly and as often as the Bush administration has screwed up on national security issues, Democrats still do not have the confidence of most Americans that they would be any better. If they doubt Bush's brains, they also doubt Democrats' belly, and for the most part they are not wrong to do so.

Electing Jim Webb to the Senate would be a huge step toward overcoming this weakness for Democrats. It would also be a major step forward in restoring the party's dominant position in Virginia. Notwithstanding his diffidence as a candidate, Democrats would be crazy not to back him with everything they have.

Posted by: Zathras | September 18, 2006 10:38 AM

Re Webb's diffidence: I agree that he's not a backslapper, but I was very impressed w/ him on Meet the Press yesterday. It is, to say the least, refreshing to hear from a candidate who has actual convictions and is able to express them.

Kurosawaguy: The idea of people endorsing the ideas of their predecessors is interesting, but it's a bit too easy. Consider, for instance, how often political leaders claim to know the views of God. We'd do better to ask for emulation that endorsement!

Posted by: THS | September 18, 2006 11:35 AM

Clever way to get in a plug for your new book, Marc. The cover looks great. Am looking forward to it.

Posted by: THS | September 18, 2006 11:36 AM

Marc, thought you'd be happy to see this:

the O's are finally closing their DC store.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.osstore18sep18,0,6422822.story?coll=bal-sports-headlines

Posted by: OD | September 18, 2006 11:41 AM

Marc, you say "Webb, the anti-Iraq war Republican in Virginia's Senate race this fall," but I thought Webb is a Democrat? Never have I wanted to live in Virginia, but the chance to vote Allen out makes the state much more appealing. Webb was infinitely more articulate and direct in response to Russert's questions than Allen, which, policy issues aside, speaks volumes to me.

Posted by: dc voter | September 18, 2006 11:41 AM

That's beautifully done. I hope some of those who pay attention to such "endorsements" also read this column.

Posted by: MRE | September 18, 2006 11:57 AM

So this race really is turning into the Neocons rallying around George Allen and everybody else rallying around Webb.

Posted by: q4z | September 18, 2006 12:31 PM

I would leave Lincoln off your list. Didn't he suspend habeus corpus? We don't want to give the current Republican occupant an idea.

Posted by: To kurosawaguy | September 18, 2006 12:42 PM

In Re: "an't help but love how Webb pointed out that the big Iraq War promoters(President Bush and V.P.Cheney) and cheerleaders like Sen. George Allen have never served in combat. It's amazing how eagerly they send other young people off into combat when they never went.

Posted by: | September 18, 2006 10:19 AM"

Yea, lets make sure all those guys who never went to war will never get a break in the press! Guys like Bush, Cheney, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman ... er, wait ... those last two are Democraps ... scratch those before somebody notices and starts to think on their own.
Wouldn't want the truth to muddle up anybody's thought processes.
One Question for Mr. Webb: Has HE ever gone to war?
And a follow up if the answer was "No": Are you honestly telling us that since you have never gone to war that you will never vote to go to war, no matter what the circumstances are?

Posted by: morethan2activebraincells | September 18, 2006 1:25 PM

"Yea, lets make sure all those guys who never went to war will never get a break in the press! Guys like Bush, Cheney, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman ... er, wait ... those last two are Democraps ... scratch those before somebody notices and starts to think on their own."

I am as Repulbican as they come (including extensive campaign work) but in fairness, Harry Truman served honorably as an Artillary officer in WWI and, yes it impacted his thinking on war.

I put my time in the National Guard from 1979 to 2000 and frankly, some of the neo-cons who hav hijacked my party need to either put up or shut up. Not everyone needs to see combat to gain an understanding of the military but at the very least, put in some reserve component time.

Posted by: Woodbridge Va | September 18, 2006 1:52 PM

One Question for Mr. Webb: Has HE ever gone to war?

Answer: Yes. After graduating from the Naval Academy, he was commissioned as a 2LT in the USMC. He served as Rifle Platoon and Company Commander in Vietnam. Awarded the Navy Cross (the second highest award for heroism, ranking below the Medal of Honor), the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts. Left the service in 1972.

As a side note, Jim Webb's son, a LCPL in the USMC, recently deployed for his tour in Iraq.


Posted by: ViennaVA | September 18, 2006 2:18 PM

Dear Mr. Fisher,

It has come to our attention that your blog on washingtonpost.com is using the name of President Ronald Reagan, his name, and/or name in blog entries and blog entry titles, some of it very negative.

The use of video footage of President Reagan, or the use of photographs, likenesses and/or quotes in this manner is neither authorized nor appropriate. Using the President's name, image or likeness implies endorsement which is neither fair nor respectful of any blog, certainly not after President Reagan's death.

At the direction of Mrs. Reagan, please refrain from the use of her husband's name, video footage, photograph, likeness, and/or quotes in any further blog materials, including television advertisements.

Sincerely,

Joanne Drake
Chief of Staff

Posted by: Reagan Library | September 18, 2006 2:52 PM

Yup, Abe did suspend habeas corpus for a time, but I was thinking more about the- Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal- aspect of Mr. Lincoln, not to mention the- government of the people, by the people, for the people- part.

As far as Franklin Roosevelt not serving in the military, this is a bit misleading. Roosevelt was Asst. Sec. of the Navy from 1912 until WWI ended and would hardly have been expected to quit and don a uniform. Age and paralysis would have kept him out of WWII, but all four of his sons were decorated veterans of that war.

To me the most telling aspect of the whole neo con chicken hawk business is the fact that the biggest dissenter inside the Bush administration as far as invading Iraq goes seems to have been Colin Powell, who was also the biggest voice of experience.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 18, 2006 3:02 PM

Hey, morethan2activebraincells - use them before you post! "One Question for Mr. Webb: Has HE ever gone to war?" Yes, D.A., haven't you seen Ronald Reagan commending Webb's service in Vietnam?

I think the best line, not well delivered, was after Allen's dig on Webb for being against the '91 Iraq war ("even the French voted for that war"). Webb said that Allen didn't fight in Vietnam (education deferment) and said "Even the French fought in Vietnam."

Posted by: BS Detector | September 18, 2006 3:35 PM

That's hilarious, Marc!

Posted by: Yockel | September 18, 2006 3:52 PM

The neocons are fond of quoting Clausewitz's "War is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means." What policy are we continuing with the occupation of Iraq?

Posted by: Swift boat veterans agains Webb | September 18, 2006 3:56 PM

Hey Marc,

Since you have been told not to use President Reagan's quotes. Please stop doing it. The man is a hero for facing down not only the Soviet empire but the consistent cynical vision of the Democrat party, and the socialistic tendencies in that party. Not every man needs to serve in combat to know challenge and to lead. Rooselvelt knew that and so did Reagan. I have no problem with either Webb or Allen serving--they are both honest men who believe in what they do and have both made mistakes that they regret. Allen believes in what the current President does--and Webb wants another direction. The voters will make the choice. Stay the course men aren't always around and usually can't handle the heat: Johnson in 67, Ford in 75, and others. Bush will go down fighting--he doesn't go with the polls as Clinton did. Again, the electorate in this country will decide.

Posted by: Annandale | September 18, 2006 4:19 PM

Apparently, my humor was too subtle for some of your readers, so I have decided to repost:

Dear Mr. Fisher,

It has come to our attention that your BLOG on WASHINGTONPOST.COM is using the NAME of President Ronald Reagan, his photographs, and/or quotes in BLOG materials and BLOG advertisements, some of it very negative.

The use of video footage of President Reagan, or the use of photographs, likenesses and/or quotes in this manner is neither authorized nor appropriate. Using the President's name, image or likeness implies endorsement which is neither fair nor respectful of any BLOG, certainly not after President Reagan's death.

At the direction of Mrs. Reagan, please refrain from the use of her husband's name, video footage, photograph, likeness, and/or quotes in any further BLOG materials, including television advertisements.

Sincerely,

Joanne Drake
Chief of Staff

Posted by: Reagan Library (not) | September 18, 2006 4:36 PM

Does anybody else find it odd that Allen makes repeated sneering reference to the French as cowardly and\or ineffectual? After all, his mother is French.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 18, 2006 4:39 PM

If Democrats aren't allowed to use Reagan's name and picture against the will of his heirs, then certainly Republicans should stop naming airports and Metro stations after him against his own wishes. The man didn't even want to be memorialized and I can't figure out what he did for the country other than make Republicans feel good about themselves despite Watergate and ignoring the poor. If someone tells me they're flying into "Reagan Airport" I tell them I'm not familiar with that facility.

Posted by: J from Bethesda | September 18, 2006 7:16 PM

Dear Mr. Fisher,

Well, there you go again. I'm tired of people writing about me in their foolish blogs. Can't you leave us dead people alone? I'll just say that I don't approve of Mr. Webb using my picture or name without Nancy's permission. After all I'm an actor and my estate has distribution rights to all my artistic works, including my theatrical performance in "40th President of the United States". What a great play that was! Pity they canceled it after eight years.

Sincerely,
Ronald Reagan

Posted by: Ronald | September 18, 2006 7:44 PM

Well, I knew you were a special group of readers, but I didn't know there were so many direct connections to the beyond and to southern California. Many thanks to all of you for acting as mediums (media?) so that we could hear directly from the Reagans, both living and not.

Posted by: Fisher | September 18, 2006 8:04 PM

Apparently, morethan2braincells has no more than 3. Thanks to those who have full brains who shot down his blind partisan thoughtlessness. Throw in Annandale, who actually believes someone told Marc not to use Reagan quotes. Wow. No, really, wow.

This was a very funny post, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Go Webb!

Posted by: daedalus | September 19, 2006 9:51 AM

Reagan's a hero? In what universe? He didn't face down the Soviets. He was a by-stander to the culmination of 50-years of American foriegn policy. A situation that many experts believe would have happened anyway, with or without our enormous defense (and deficit) spending. Reagan was barely coherent for most of his presidency. He basically killed the middle-class in this country. He (and his neo-con administration) pushed policies overseas that led to more than 3,000 dead on 9/11 not to mention a hundred other conflicts. What exactly about this man's record deserves accolades let alone being canonized? Republicans are freaking funny.

Posted by: jem | September 20, 2006 12:21 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company