February 6, 2011

Sunday School 2/6/11: Ronald Reagan's birthday edition

There was a lot of discussion about the situation in Egypt, as expected, but I thought there’d be a little more about Ronald Reagan, since this would have been The Great Communicator’s 100th birthday. Only NBC's Meet the Press held a little Reagan party. 

Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan (the real Great Communicator?), Willie Brown (former California politico) and James Baker (Chief of Staff and former Secretary of State) joined David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell from the newly renovated and updated Reagan Library. Among the highlights of their conversation: Baker thought Reagan would be OK with the Tea Party, but also pointed out that Reagan knew how to reach across the aisle, pointing out that he’d “…rather get 80% of what I want than go over the cliff with my flag flying.”  Doesn't sound much like the Tea Partiers to me, how about you?

Brown mentioned that Obama is a true admirer of Reagan, but didn’t get to show it because of his overwhelming majorities in Congress, but Baker disagreed, noting that Obama didn’t send his own bills to Congress, he ‘subcontracted them out’ to the liberals, and Reagan would never have made that mistake. What Reagan did differently, he put up his own bills, and allowed them to be tweaked by members of his own party as well as by the Dems.  Baker also referenced Reagan’s time as head of the Screen Actors Guild as being helpful in developing his negotiating skills. 

Specifically on Reagan the person, not so much Reagan the president, Noonan recalled the day of the assassination attempt and Reagan’s joke before surgery “I just hope all of you are Republicans.” The doctor, a liberal Dem, answered “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans.”   

I’ll end with another great Reagan quote: "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." 

He rarely spoke truer words.