Skip navigation

Obama needs to take a page out of the Reagan playbook according to Newsweek:

After a year of haggling, Obama is left with a measure that Republicans circa 1993 and 1994 would have proposed, and yet he’s accused of perpetrating a socialist takeover of the health-care system

Obama inherited a more complicated situation, and his appeal is loftier and more abstract. At this point in his presidency, Obama has a better economic story to tell than Reagan did, but he hasn’t conveyed it with the artistry and clarity that could keep people believing in him. The Dow Jones index has regained 60 percent of its value, the banks are paying back the government with interest, and passage of a health-care-reform bill would give middle-class Americans more economic security. The economy is on the upswing and, to borrow a slogan from the Reagan era, it’s time to “stay the course.”

Obama said during the campaign that he would like to emulate Ronald Reagan—not because he agreed with Reagan’s policies, but because he changed the country in ways that endured. Reagan has been mythologized, but he wasn’t larger than life during his first two years, as economic conditions worsened. His policies, dubbed Reaganomics, were not working in ways that people could see, and unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent on Election Day in 1982. In the summer and fall of that year, his poll ratings were in the mid 40s to high 40s, much like Obama’s today.


Through the force of his personality and the confidence he projected, Reagan kept Republican losses in that midterm election to a minimum (27 seats in the House; none in the Senate). He had run in 1980 on the slogan “Let’s Make America Great Again” and his ability to connect with the heart of the country. By embodying optimism, he kept people believing in him. Reagan also had a very simple message to get across: he wanted to get the economy going and rebuild the nation’s defense.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: