Today brings us a Bloomberg column from Michael Tackett, "Hero Reagan’s Compromise Would Collide With Tea Party Certitude." It's rather unfortunate this particular talking point keeps making the rounds, as it requires arguing alternate history. Further, asserting that Ronald Reagan is significantly divorced from our current understanding of conservatism is silly on its face.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Mitt Romney is recounting a Jim Baker anecdote in which President Reagan ordered Baker, as White House chief of staff, to hold no national security meetings over a hundred day period early in his first term so that President Reagan and his team could focus on the economy. If the Journal's reporting is accurate—and I don't believe the Romney camp has challenged it—Romney should stop telling this false and foolish tale.
On the day that the Supreme Court released its Obamacare ruling, my daughter and I had the opportunity to visit the Reagan Ranch. Located in the mountains in the Central Coast region of California, the ranch is where President Reagan spent nearly one out of every eight days of his presidency. As you might imagine, it’s a wonderful place.
When I interviewed President Reagan in the Oval Office in 1987, I took with me a photograph of him with two dozen women at the Presidio of Monterey in California 50 years earlier. My mother, the presidio commander’s daughter, was one of the women. I wanted Reagan to autograph the photograph, and he graciously obliged, but not before telling me in extraordinary detail how he happened to be at the presidio, a cavalry post, and everything about the movie he was making there.
Yesterday, I noted that we have generally had our strongest periods of economic growth coming out of our deepest recessions, and I compared FDR and Obama in this vein. Another good comparison is a more recent one — between Obama and President Reagan.
Mitt Romney, with his wife Ann, met this afternoon in Los Angeles with former first lady Nancy Reagan to receive her endorsement. "Mitt and Ann Romney joined me at my home this afternoon for some lemonade and cookies and I offered my firm endorsement of his campaign for President," Reagan says in a statement released by her office.
The general view about last night's debate is that Rick Santorum didn't do well. Rich Lowry put it best: Santorum spent too much time "explaining why he voted for things he opposed (NCLB, Title X)," got "tangled up in his Senate record," and was in general "too defensive, too insider, too complicated."