Thursday, October 02, 2008
Obama: The Liberal Reagan
As I've noted several times, Obama is the liberal Reagan...down to the temperament. Here is something that Joe Klein just wrote about Obama's temperament:
I've also gotten the sense, in the times I've interviewed and chatted with him, that calm is Obama's natural default position. He is friendly, informal, accessible...and a mystery, hard to get to know. He doesn't give away much, doesn't — unlike Bill Clinton — have that desperate need to make you like him. His brilliant, at times excessive, oratory is an outlier — the only over-the-top, Technicolor quality he has.
Compare this to some of what was written about Reagan:
He was a riddle impervious to all who tried to catch him in an introspective moment. Even his wife Nancy was puzzled. "You can get just so far to Ronnie, and then something happens," she told his biographer Lou Cannon.
While their most fervent admirers would no doubt be outraged by the comparison, Obama and Reagan show similarity after similarity. Both were outsiders to the political establishment. Both combined a calm demeanor with dazzling oratory (though Obama still has a ways to go to catch up to the Great Communicator). Both represented hope and change to a weary, frightened nation who felt that they were going in the wrong direction.
As a capitalist, the prospect of a liberal Reagan scares the hell out of me, but if that's what it takes to turn around our standing in the world, then I've got to put country first. If President Obama does half the good that Ronnie did, I'll be satisfied.
Related story: My Reagan Moment.