Republicans Plan to Resurrect Reagan for 2008 Presidential Race

Ronald Reagan certainly had his flaws — but he was certainly classier, a better speaker, more libertarian and even more economically conservative than the current occupant of the White House. When asked, almost half of Georgia Republicans find Dubya the spitting image of the the Gipper:

Do you view President Bush as a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan? (Republicans only)
Yes 43%
No 38%
Undecided 19%

This isn’t just isolated to Georgians. Let’s head north, to Wisconsin:

Do you consider President Bush to be a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan? (Republicans only)
Yes 40%
No 44%
Undecided 16%

From MacPaper:

The Republican conference that ended here Sunday featured three 2008 White House contenders trying to capture Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism, despite the travails that could pose a problem in November. […]

Huckabee said Reagan became president because his “Morning in America” theme resonated with Americans. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas introduced himself as “a Reagan Republican” and spent several minutes praising the late president as bold, optimistic, inspiring and courageous.

Sen. George Allen of Virginia was first to mention Reagan’s vision of America as “a shining city on a hill” (Brownback was second). Allen also said he has on his desk a plaque that Reagan once gave to his father, the former Washington Redskins coach. On it is written Reagan’s famous exhortation, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Asked later why Reagan was getting so much attention, Allen said Reagan cut taxes and changed the dynamics of the Cold War. Delegates sensed a yearning to recapture a golden age that historians have already judged a success.

“Now that he’s gone, he’s become a symbolic figure,” said Phil Zimmerly, 23, a law student from Tuscaloosa, Ala., adding that might happen to President Bush in 20 or 30 years.

Are these guys delusional or has some form of mass psychosis infected the GOP?

2 Comments
  1. Bush’s steadfast resolve in cutting taxes tends to obfusgate his big-spender tendencies within the Republican base. Since so few politicians of ANY stripe offer to cut taxes… the ones that do get compared to Reagan… and to a lesser extent… JFK.

    Out of all the Republicans considering the nomination in 2008… I think Brownback would come closest to ‘The Gipper’.

  2. The leaders of the GOP want to, of course, capture the mantle of Reagan. They aren’t delusional, they’re just politicians. As far as the rank and file GOP, they see tax cuts and an economy performing reasonably well and then hear the lie repeated over and over. Add it all up and you have 45% of the GOP agreeing that Bush is the inheritor of the Reagan legacy. The interesting thing is that means that 55% of the core GOP doesn’t agree with that.

    If Reagan is the standard to be measured against, and he’s not a bad choice as such things go, then it seems clear that Bush has failed that test miserably, with 100% of Democrats detesting him and 55% of his own party not identifying Bush with his Party’s greatest modern legacy.