Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is Obama the Democratic Reagan?

Chuck Raasch seems to think so, and wonders if Obama should run on the same question, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" IMHO, Make that eight today's USA Today column:
WASHINGTON — There are obvious differences between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, but Obama faces the same fundamental question Reagan did in 1980: Amidst a sour economy, energy woes, an unpopular president and a crisis in the Middle East, is the new guy up for the job?

Reagan didn't answer the question until late in '80, when in two debates he stood at least equal in many Americans' minds to the unpopular Jimmy Carter. Democrats had ridiculed Reagan as an actor who had crazy economic theories and would be an unsteady finger on the nuclear button. This very week in 1980, the then-Moonbeam Gov. Jerry Brown of California said Reagan offered nothing more than "hokum and snake oil." The New York Times magazine said of Reagan: "Not only does he often oversimplify the issues, he actually seems to believe his oversimplifications."

But Reagan's "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" became the defining question of 1980, and he beat Carter in a landslide.