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Obama Picks Reagan Over Bill Clinton

Caught on tape.

It leaves you speechless. That is, if you’re a Democrat. To add…From July 2007:


Obama is touting a new and unconventional brand of grass-roots politics, but his strategy borrows from precedents set by a previous generation of Democrats such as Jimmy Carter and Gary Hart. His advisers also invoke as inspiration a surprising Republican: Ronald Reagan.

“Now, it is blasphemy for Democrats,” Obama pollster Cornell Belcher said of Reagan, “but that hope and optimism that was Ronald Reagan” allowed him to “transcend” ideological divisions within his own party and the general electorate.

The upbeat message, Obama advisers say, won’t prevent the candidate from stepping up both veiled and explicit contrasts with Clinton, who he hopes to portray as an old-hat conventional politician whose varied positions on the Iraq war reflect calculation rather than leadership. … ..

Obama models campaign on Reagan revolt

Lots to talk about.

Hope you can join me.

UPDATE II: Some people seem to be missing the point. Reagan was central casting for the presidency. He was all morning in America with nothing to back it up. Least we forget, he sent us into Lebanon, then when we got creamed and Marines killed, immediately parachuted out, which is the first incident Osama bin Laden uses to make his case that the U.S. is an easy mark and won’t make a stand if challenged. Like Reagan, Obama talks of hope and bringing people together, but there is nothing behind it to back it up.

UPDATE: Being a former Reagan Democrat, I wanted to take a moment to discuss a bit more in detail why this Reagan footage, which was taken during a Reno Gazette editorial board discussion this past Monday, is so troubling to me. Stoller and Hamsher have both posted on it as well. You can talk all day about Obama’s team running a personality campaign like Reagan’s, but the crux of the flood of Democrats like me to Reagan was really one issue: national security. After Desert One, as well as the hostage crisis going on and on, the election of 1980 left many of us feeling embarrassed that our government could be so incompetent and present such a weak image to the world. I’m not telling you that is the correct feeling, but I’m telling you that was a big reason many of us crossed over. Reagan represented the image of America the strong, once again. After the horrific failures of the Vietnam era, followed by Carter, Democrats like me who made foreign policy and national security their main issue felt betrayed. We were seduced by Reagan’s rhetoric, but we also didn’t care. He was a symbol of American strength, whereas, Jimmy Carter was not. There was also the fact that I was standing in gas lines only able to fill my tank on certain days, depending on my license plate, but in the end it was the perceived weakness of America that pushed many of us over. Never mind that we didn’t learn for years and years that it was William Christopher who negotiated the hostage release, even though the timing crowned Reagan Mr. National Security forever. That Mr. Obama thinks Reagan was all about personality is frighteningly ignorant. There are many other things about Reagan, which I’ve written and talked about a lot, not the least of which was his southern strategy, but you cannot talk about Reagan’s rise without a national security framing, that is if you want to tell the story of how Republicans were able to frame Democrats, using Vietnam as a backdrop, as weak on national security and military issues, while Republicans were the leaders. Reagan was their political poster boy for that, which they’ve been using until this very day. You cannot accurately talk about Reagan’s rise without the national security component mixed in, which is still being used to paint Democrats as weak.

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