Obama, Find Your Inner Reagan

The Gipper's first year didn't go so well, either
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2010 12:21 PM CST
Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, speaks in this 1969 file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Cheer up, Barack; Ronald Reagan had a rough first year, too. But he bounced back nicely, so Mark Halperin of Time pulls some lessons from his playbook for Obama:

  • Stand for a few big things: Reagan stood for three things: lower taxes, stronger defense, family values. His policies didn’t always measure up, but they tended to fit that tripartite rubric.

  • Be bigger than life: Like Reagan, he must be both accessible, and a towering figure. “Plainspoken speeches, richly symbolic events, and well-timed humor are Reagan tools that Obama could employ.”
  • Forget the media: Reagan was used to the media from his days as an actor and California governor. He got lousy coverage, too, but “followed the actor’s credo: Never let them see you sweat.”
  • Use national security: Reagan raised his popularity with Cold War victories, giving him more power to push his agenda at home.

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