Monday, October 22, 2007

Rudy, Fred and Mitt are not Ronald Reagan.

And they should not try to be.
Don't get me wrong. I think Reagan was one of our greatest Presidents. But whoever wins in 2008 will face completely different challenges than he did.

2008 is 28 years since Reagan was first elected President, and 20 years since he left office.
JFK in 1960 invoked the New Deal but promised the New Frontier.
Reagan in 1980 did not invoke Eisenhower's 1952 campaign (though I knew several Reagan supporters in 76 and 80 who also proudly wore Taft buttons from his 1952 campaign.)

While Reagan understood Russia as the Evil Empire, he knew no more about Islamofascism than anyone else in 1986. After the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut he pulled our forces from Lebanon. Under his watch Robert McDermott took a a cake to Iran.

To win in 2008. the Democrats need more than "I'm not George Bush". And the Republicans need more than "I'm not Hilary Clinton and I'll be the next Reagan."