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Reagan, Obama & youthful enthusiasm

Even before Time magazine ran a cover story comparing the incumbent Democratic president to the greatest Republican president of the last century, pundits have rushed to compared Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan.  Both men won their first elections by comfortable margins.  Both were regarded as silver-tongued orators with a charismatic presence.

And both seemed to capture the imagination of the youth of their particular political era.

But, here’s a difference — or is it just in my imagination?  My generation warmed to the Gipper not as much when he was a candidate as when he was president.  We loved him more in 1984 than we did in 1980.  Once in office, he gave us hope that we would find jobs and have a better future.   Obama, by contrast, gave us hope that his administration would be different from that of his predecessor, but once in office, the enthusiasm of his young followers began to wane.

The elder won us over by his leadership in the office.  The other rallied this generation to his cause by his charisma and promise of change.  Reagan appealed to us through his deeds, Obama with his words.



  1. When comparing the 2 president’s policies, there really is no comparison… Case in point: Everything Ronald Reagan did to the the Soviet Union back in the 80s, Barack Obama and his crew are today inflicting on the American people.

    Comment by Spartann — April 24, 2011 @ 2:54 pm - April 24, 2011

  2. Reagan & Obama are mirror images of one another–polar opposites in every way; there’s no comparison. Obama is eager to make the comparison because he is not a leader like Reagan.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — April 24, 2011 @ 5:35 pm - April 24, 2011

  3. Back in school, we were often asked to “compare” and “contrast” X and Y. In comparing these two elected leaders, there is little to offer. However, when contrasting them, we find a veritable field of blossoming, fruit-bearing trees on one side, and a vast wasteland of weeds on the other. But wait a minute, weeds are GREEN! AARRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!! Can 2012 be far off?

    Comment by EZVZ — April 25, 2011 @ 12:30 pm - April 25, 2011

  4. This is addressed to the master of this site and is not, strictly speaking, a comment.

    I have attempted to post a couple of comments here, but none have appeared in the thread. You have, of course, absolute discretion regarding what you will allow on your site, but I see no evidence that it is membership only. Moreover, my posts were not offensive (at least to your readers) and I am neither a troll nor gratuitously seeking backlinks (I get plenty of those myself).

    Please let me know where I am missing the mark.

    Comment by Richard White — April 26, 2011 @ 5:20 pm - April 26, 2011

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