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Monday, January 3, 2011

"It's Morning in America"- Part II

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.  He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. "
-- Barack Obama, Presidential candidate- Jan 16, 2008.

First, a reference to the blogpost title--   "It's Morning in America" was the theme the set of commercials Reagan used during the 1980 Presidential campaign to convey that life would be better when he was elected over Jimmy Carter.

Before expanding on this topic of Obama/Reagan, a brief, relevant history lesson 

There once was a man named John Tyler who was born in 1790 and lived in Virginia.  He served as a politician in various capacities and one day in 1840, was selected as the Vice Presidential candidate to run alongside military hero William Henry Harrison.  (Think of the memorable phrase- "Tippacanoe & Tyler too").  Harrison was backed by the Whig party, which by 1852 would eventually call themselves Republican and even though Tyler really wasn't, he was a southerner and picked to politically balance the ticket.

Harrison won election and during his inaugural speech in 1841, while standing in the cold rain without a hat- the longest inaugural speech ever given, Harrison contracted pneumonia and died in office within one month.  John Tyler was now the 10th President.   And during a tumultuous four years few saw coming, while he was a Whig in name, he often supporting the policies of the opposition party, the Democrats or simply did what he wished even if the vast majority of the nation disagreed.  This caused such derision and fractures of support that every member of his cabinet except one, would end up resigning his post at some point in Tyler's one-term presidency.

Now we move back to present day, 2011..

Obama Looks To Reagan Years To Push Agenda (Bloomberg) --  "Before leaving for a year-end vacation, Obama sought advice from Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein and David Gergen, an image adviser to both Reagan and Clinton, said an Obama aide. On his Hawaii trip, Obama brought along journalist Lou Cannon’s Reagan biography, “The Role of a Lifetime,”... During his 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Obama praised Reagan in an interview with a Nevada newspaper as a president who “changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.” "

"Obama, in an interview with NPR and a statement before meeting with corporate chief executives, said he would like to pursue a tax overhaul that, like Reagan’s tax code revision, would reduce (corporate) rates and simplify the system.  Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who will become the Senate Budget Committee’s top-ranking Republican, said Obama could gain broad backing across party lines, including “a lot of support from Republicans,” for a plan that reduces the corporate tax burden."

Obama also moved to reset his relationship with corporate leaders after the midterms, during which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce committed more than $75 million to ads mainly directed against Democrats.

After business-friendly decisions including the tax-cut extensions and a free-trade accord with South Korea, he met Dec. 15 at Blair House with 20 corporate leaders...  Verizon Communications Inc. CEO Ivan Seidenberg... praised him on Dec. 8 for “a willingness to learn.” "

Obama: I wanted you to know Mrs Reagan how much I admired your husband
Mrs. Reagan:  Aww, that's very sweet to say

So let's recap what's happened since the Democrats lost the midterm elections-

1) The President capitulates to the incoming Republicans while still holding a congressional majority by agreeing to tax cuts and social security reductions which overwhelmingly favor the very rich, providing far more financial benefit than working people will receive and quickening the time before Social Security becomes insolvent.

2)   Then the President meets with some of Reagan's image advisors to learn how he can gloss over the present realities by communicating style and imagery over substance; as Reagan did.

3)  Then meets with corporate leaders in a meeting that they praise to help figure out how to reduce their corporate tax "burden"; that is the $$ which is not kept in offshore accounts in the Caribbean.

4)  And for Christmas vacation, takes a bio of Reagan with him for 'fun' reading

Summary- Obama has a serious 'man-crush' for Reagan.  It should be apparent by now.   If you are a conservative Republican or a liberal Democrat, this realization is bound to make you sick to your stomach, though with different reasons.   Unless someone runs against Obama in the Democrat primaries in 2012, do not expect an economic liberal in the White House for a Long time, regardless of whether he wins re-election.

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