Obama and Reagan
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:03 AMIn the latest TIME, Mark Halperin is the latest columnist to discuss ways in which President Obama can learn from the example of the 40th president.
One of the more amusing recommendations is the following:
Create more Obama Republicans. Candidate Obama had broad appeal for Republicans and conservative-leaning independents. Now his image and agenda have left him without any calling card to widen his support (essential for winning policy fights and elections). The Gipper wooed so-called Reagan Democrats by finding common cause with them on key issues such as national security and lower taxes while still keeping his political base solidly on board. Education, spending cuts and maybe even health care are all ripe areas where Obama can make another effort to reach out to voters, if not intransigent Republicans in Washington.
Candidate Obama did win support from some Republicans, many of whom were disgusted with the Bush administration and Republican-controlled Congress for their failures to live up to the GOP’s traditional values of limited government that lives within its means. Other Republicans who voted for Obama bought into the 2008 candidate’s moderate to conservative-sounding campaign pledges on some key issues.
The problem is that none of President Obama’s goals — as exemplified by actual pratice, rather than campaign rhetoric — jibes with the typical Republican’s priorities. In contrast, “Reagan Democrats” tended to agree with the 40th president’s fundamental world view, even as they clung to a party whose national leaders had moved away from them ideologically.
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