Obama's True Predecessor: Reagan
The Gipper is Obama's 'role model,' writes EJ Dionne Jr.
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2013 1:30 PM CST
This 1984 photo shows President Reagan facing reporters at the beginning of a news conference in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz, File)

(Newser) – President Obama is following in the footsteps not of a liberal giant, but of a conservative one: His "role model is Ronald Reagan," writes EJ Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post. Obama himself admitted as much during his 2008 campaign, when he said that "Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not." Like Reagan, Obama is pushing for a "long-term electoral realignment," but he's going left instead of right.

That's why he's not really looking for an "impossible bipartisanship," and he's not too worried about working well with John Boehner. Reagan didn't succeed by working well with Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill; he succeeded by winning over a minority of conservative and moderate, mostly Southern, Democrats "who knew their part of the country was moving Reagan's way." Obama has the same plan. Of course, the irony is that if Obama realizes his progressive vision for the US, he will be "reversing the 40th president’s political legacy," Dionne writes. "In following Reagan’s political lead, Obama is setting out to prove that the Reagan era is finally over." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 88 comments
jope
Jan 25, 2013 9:49 AM CST
Ronald Reagan said:"People are poor by choice".He went to Bitdburg Germany, to pay hommage to dead nazis.He launched his campaign from Philadelphia Mississipi, where some civil rights workers were assassinated.He promoted a climate of greed and selfisness during his presidency.How can you compare Obama with that monster?
BrushMan
Jan 24, 2013 9:13 PM CST
The nearer Reagan got to Alzheimer's Disease, the more the conservatives identified with him.
No-Left-Turn
Jan 24, 2013 7:45 PM CST
Obama is to Reagan as Mickey Mouse is to Superman.