Thursday, October 23, 2008

"How can a president not be an actor?" Ronald Reagan

With all the talk about how much Barack Obama is liked within his own party, even to the point of "hero worship" brought to a fanatical point by some, my mind is taken back to a time at the beginning of the 80's when I was in junior high. I remember when Ronald Reagan ran for president, and how much the Republicans were galvanized behind the charismatic governor.

I watched the debate between him and Jimmy Carter, and I was mesmerized even at that young age by his every-guy language, his witty banter, his handsome, ranch foreman looks. My father, a Democrat, was leery, as were all Democrats. Just a pretty boy actor whose career failed so he decided to dabble in politics, just a sweet talker, and way too conservative. But the Republicans loved him. He'd come off the heals of some disappointing Republican leaders, like Ford and Nixon, and the current president had low approval ratings. The country in general was heading in a more conservative direction and they found in Ronald Reagan what they needed, a steady, strong voice; in other words, change. And change everything he did.

Now, fast forward a bit to now. Enter Barack Obama, a charismatic, good-looking, well-spoken, smart guy appearing virtually out of no where. Democrats instantly love him, having had to deal with the Clinton years, going through some disappointing presidential candidates, Gore and Kerry, here is a person that can wipe that all away, like an eraser on a white board. Republicans are instantly leery, he's too much of a celebrity, in love with himself, no one questions him, way too liberal, etc. (The list goes on and on, and on.) The country's in deep recession, we're disappointed with the current president, an evolution of philosophy is occurring politically; we're moving away from the far right closer to the middle as a nation. What the Republicans found in Reagan, the Democrats find in Obama; someone who will change the direction of the country.

I read a quote a few weeks ago by Ronald Reagan's son about his mother, Nancy. He said, (in a nutshell) she likes Obama; that he reminds her of her husband, in that people only thought he was a good speaker; that he wouldn't amount to much else.

I will end with yet another quote (one of thousands) from him, that master of speech,
"I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon."


okbushmans said...

Reagan had the 'it' factor. Obama has the 'it' factor and some mojo! He is charming, handsome, smooth talking, even graceful (especially evident in the townhall meeting, as he floated around the stage, completely opposite of McCain). The one characteristic Reagan had, I wish Obama had, is self-deprication. Reagan seemed humble, whereas I wouldn't describe Obama that way. Too bad the republicans don't have someone comparably handsome, like Romney, to contend with Obama in that area! Ha!

Lula O said...

You're right. I liked that about Reagan too, it was part of what made him so funny and endearing. I still remember some of his speeches. Between the two, Reagan wins hands down on who I'd ever want to sit down and have a conversation with. Obama is pretty cocky, rockstarish at this point. The guy has serious flaws, I'm not trying to make excuses, I'm just trying to look at the bigger picture here. For me, his piece fits better than McCain's does, in this gigantic-no knows what it will look like until it's finally put together-puzzle of a fine turd we are all in.
And on Romney,(and this is hard for me to admit because I don't like him, even though he is one fine looking man), he'd be beating Obama right now if he'd won the nomination, and I'm not the only one that knows it. Maybe Republicans too, are now realizing that being a Mormon in politics isn't a bad thing for the country.

Jen said...

Definitely Obama has, as okbushmans said, the "it" factor. McCain doesn't even compair. However, I look deeper and look at the change they are bringing. I was too young to vote for Reagan, but from what I know, from a policiy stand point, he takes the cake over Obama.

Lula O said...

If you're a Republican, then of course, you believe that. To most Republicans, he is considered the alpha and omega of conservative policy. But you better be careful, what you say might be construed as "hero worshiping"...:)

Ben and Christina said...

Very well said, Lula! I am so frustrated with Republicans thinking Dems only like Obama because of his speaking and poise- those are major factors, of course-I like a president who appears smarter then I am and who can motivate a people by his words (I was once motivated by Bush right after 9/11- since then, he just looks foolish every time he steps in front of the camera), but that is not the reason I am voting for him. It is frustrating to see the hypocrisy of the Reps, so it is refreshing to have someone call them on it!!

And, I totally agree with you on Romney- I think I should become a political pundit because ever since McCain named Palin as his VP I have been saying that she would get the ratings at the beginning, but bring down the party at the end, and that is exactly what is happening according to every poll. However, if he had chosen Romney (as I said he should in the beginning- dang I am smart:)) I really think he would be tied if not well ahead of Obama- even though, like you, I disagree with Romney on just about everything.

The Bradfords said...

Okay Tootsie, now you've crossed the line. In my humble opinion you are comparing apples to oranges. Obama does not have the "it" factor, never has never will. Oh he's a good pretender, maybe he believes in the actor quote by Reagan, but Ronald Reagan he will never be. The best connection I can make between the two men is that they are both pretty boys, and Mitt Romney is waaaayyy prettier. Poor John McCain doesn't quite get a place in that category. Call it hero worship if you want to, but Ronald Reagan was meant to be president when he was. And if you know bad things about him, don't burst my bubble please. Let me live back in the 80's a little bit. I go by my gut feelings a lot (and I'm right often enough) and my gut tells me that John McCain is a scary choice for President but Obama is even scarier. And even scarier than that is the fact that you know where I live and I just made that comment on your blog! One more thing...I don't have enough faith in the American people to think that Mitt Romney would be beating Obama. Sure would have been interesting to see and the debates would have at least been full of eye candy instead of other {junk}. (I won't swear on your blog.)

Lula O said...

Oh, my sweet Lady Bradford, I would never compare the two like that; they are apples and oranges; Obama, he will never be revered like Reagan as history descends (so you may unarm yourself now :)) I was comparing the fact that Republicans felt about him then, the way Democrats currently feel about Obama now. He's also a likeable guy that we can clasp onto (we've not had that in our party for awhile).
Other than when I heard my father complaining about Reagan, I spent high school liking him as president, because all I knew was his speeches, and they were great. It wasn't until he left office and I learned more about his policies while in college that I began to disagree with him politically. (But, I still didn't really care, and wanted him at all my family reunions as my stand-in grandpa!) And Romney, poor Romney, poor poor multi millionare. He's probably drowning his sorrows in Bora Bora or Hawaii...I hope someone photographs him in a swimming suit and puts in online. :)

Lula O said...

And Christina, I'm proud of you for being motivated by President Bush at least one time. That hasn't happened to me yet.

okbushmans said...

I was hoping McCain would choose Romney, based solely on his economic recovery skills. His financial expertise would be fabulous in a time like this. And although I absolutely do not support a lot of Obama's positions, I think his delivery is an art form. (removal of the umms and uhhhs, of course). If I were a cartoonist, I would love to draw a picture of an American voter with an angel over one shoulder that looks like Reagan and a devil over the other that looks like Obama. And title it Republican. Then do one that has Obama as an angel, and Bush as the devil, and title it Democrat. Anyone agree?

Bray said...

I have to agree with the Bradfords. McCain to me is scary but Obama scarier. I feel sad that I don't feel good either way. On election day there isn't a scenario that makes me completely happy. Oh well. The bradfords need to stop by

Lula O said...

Excellent OKbushman! It does seem like Obama is fighting Bush almost as much as McCain (probably because he brings up both names together as often as humanely possible), and McCain is trying to mimic Reagan as much as he can. Both are political tricks made by typical politicians in an attempt to divert from the tough issues and remind us about past political figures in both a bad and good way.

Bryce and Mandy said...

Amen Lula! What a great post! :)

Wow, you have one busy day and you miss out on everything. I don’t get where this whole hero worship thing is coming from. I mean, just because I have an Obama pillow case, a poster of him on the ceiling above my bed, a blow up doll of him that sits on my couch and a bobble head of him in my car, does that mean I worship him? Hee hee :)

But seriously I know Obama has flaws, what politician doesn’t. I don’t fool myself by thinking he is going to solve all of the country’s problems. I think either man who wins is going to have huge hurdles to overcome because of how bad our economy is and will have trouble getting anything done. I don’t even agree with some of Obama’s ideas but I do agree with the majority of them, and disagree with the majority of McCain’s.

I haven’t heard one republican say they are excited that McCain is their candidate. If you had a really great candidate you were excited about maybe you would cry or get excited at his rallies too (and no, I have never once cried during an Obama speech). I think Lula brought up a good point that the Democratic Party hasn’t had someone they could really cheer for in a long while so now they are letting it all out.

And as for the whole charity thing, do I wish Obama contributed more to charity? Yes. Do I think that will make him a bad president because he hasn’t contributed a lot? No. The same could be said for McCain, do I think he made a bad decision by cheating on his first wife? Yes. Do I think that will make him a bad president? No.

And I haven’t really understood why people are scared of Obama. To me with all of the people who actually know McCain, and from what I have seen myself on TV, so many people say he has a bad temper. Personally I don’t want a leader who could easily lose his temper and that same person is the one who decides if we go to war or use nukes. To me that is scary.