Barack Obama as Reagan? Nah!
In March of 2008 Barack Obama made headlines by favorably comparing himself to one of our most popular and successful chief executives, Ronald Reagan. Referring to the Gipper he said, “I think he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that has been missing.”
Six years later Obama’s presidency has produced pessimism, idleness, and increased government dependency. These dramatically dissimilar results are a reflection of the differences between the men themselves.
Ronald Reagan lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and a bunch of recessions. He had a front row seat to the Vietnam, Korean, and Cold Wars. As a youth Ron labored doing roofs and laying wood floors. His dad was an alcoholic. It was a personal life, especially in the early years, filled with hard times. In Reagan’s adult years he witnessed both the world and his treasured nation face down the deadly threat of totalitarianism. In spite of it all he remained upbeat, not only about his own prospects but those of his fellow Americans.
Mr. Obama had an unusual childhood. He was bi-racial. His father bolted, and his non-conformist mom left much of the child rearing to her parents. Barack spent most of his pre-college days living in Hawaii. He went to a private school, and received some notoriety for being a member of the pot-smoking “Choom Gang”. None the less, Obama attended some of the finest colleges, although student loan and transcript records remain unavailable. Through the sacrifices of Mr. Reagan and his “Greatest Generation” peers, Barack Obama was spared many of the trials and tribulations faced by his predecessor.
Perhaps facing those kinds of character-steeling challenges would have better prepared Mr. Obama for his role as President of the United States. Perhaps dealing with the kinds of adversity faced by Reagan would have made Barack a stronger, more resilient man. For a powerful example of how differently these two men have dealt with “set backs”, compare Reagan’s response to his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease with Obama’s response to Bill O’Reilly’s pre-Super Bowl questioning.
Once diagnosed, the former president wrote a heartfelt, open letter to the American people. View at PBS
He explained his condition and future plans. Reagan’s note focused on raising awareness of the illness, concerns for the toll this might take on his “beloved Nancy”, thanking us for allowing him “the great honor….to serve as your president”, and ended with his trademark optimism for America. There was not so much as a smidgen of self pity in his 342 word note.
Contrast that with the current Chief Executive’s reaction to O’Reilly’s inquiries you tube on subjects Obama deemed unworthy of the interview. He blamed Fox News for it’s continued pursuit of what he’d previously deemed “phony scandals”, and declared his interviewer to be “unfair”. When repeatedly asked to cite specific examples of unfairness Barack did not. Many of his answers were filled with more than a little bit of empathy….for himself.
Measure the men by these conflicting reactions to adversity. Ronald Reagan selflessly and courageously confronted a horrific, debilitating, fatal disease. Barack Obama shrank behind self-centered, unseemly whining during a simple, non-life threatening, 10 minute cable interview.
Allow us to respectively offer some God-fatherly advice to President Obama that former President Reagan never needed. Mr. President, “act like a man”Click here.