As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Nancy Reagan is Dead

Nancy Reagan was not just the wife of one of the greatest presidents in American history. She was Ronald Reagan’s soulmate, his protector, and often, his closest advisor. And in his twilight, as he declined due to the effects of Alzheimer’s, she was his caretaker, too.

Now, former First Lady Nancy Reagan is dead at the age of 94. She passed away on Sunday of congestive heart failure at her home in Los Angeles.

Ronald Reagan shared his innermost self with very few people. Mrs. Reagan had access to aspects of the president that no one else could fathom.

In her role as her “Ronnie’s” fiercest guardian, she was known particularly for her involvement in staff decisions, ever on the watch for people who might be putting their own interests first. She was reportedly deeply involved in the ouster of White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan in 1987 following the Iran-Contra crisis.

But Mrs. Reagan carved her own role in the Reagan presidency. Her “Just Say No” campaign against drug use became one of the great movements of the 1980s. In true conservative fashion, she sought to address a problem not through massive government intervention but by using her bully pulpit to effect cultural change.

The title of the cause, which became perhaps the decade’s most famous watchword, was chosen after she met with schoolchildren in Oakland, according to the Ronald Reagan Library. “A little girl raised her hand,” Nancy Reagan remembered, “and said, ’Mrs. Reagan, what do you do if somebody offers you drugs?’ And I said, ‘Well, you just say no.’ And there it was born. I think people thought we had an advertising agency over who dreamed that up — not true.”

The crusade took her to 65 cities in 33 states and 9 foreign countries. She made 110 appearances and 14 anti-drug speeches on behalf of the effort in 1984 alone.

Mrs. Reagan also was involved during her husband’s presidency in a program to create “foster grandparents” for needy children.

Nancy Reagan was born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921, in New York City. Her mother was an actress who eventually married a Chicago neurosurgeon, Loyal Davis, who adopted her. The then-Nancy Davis became an actress herself and met then-fellow actor Ronald Reagan in the late 1940s.

They were married March 4, 1952, in a small ceremony and had two children together. They remained together until the president’s death on June 5, 2004.

She will be buried next to her husband at the Reagan library in spot overlooking California’s  Simi Valley.

Cruz “Scorpion” Video Plays Off Reagan Ad

Ted Cruz released a new campaign video today, this one cleverly playing off a famous 1984 reelection campaign ad by Ronald Reagan, “The Bear in the Woods.”

Some of you surely remember it. Here’s the Reagan ad first.

And now the Cruz ad.

All the candidates tonight will be trying to claim they are just like Reagan.

I don’t think Reagan really claimed to be like anyone else. He didn’t say he was the new Barry Goldwater, although he tipped his hat to him.

The one who compares himself the least to Reagan, it seems to me, is Donald Trump. He claims he’s just like Donald Trump. And that makes him more like Reagan.

The Dissing of America: Our enemies and rivals show no respect

As President Obama was traversing Alaska last week sounding the alarm about the theoretical consequences of global warming, a more concrete threat loomed just off the coast, in the Bering Sea.

Five Chinese naval ships suddenly materialized and were cruising about, symbols of China’s growing military might and its challenge to America’s naval hegemony in the Pacific.

That Chinese warships had appeared on U.S. radar in the Bering for the first time ever during a rare Obama visit to Alaska could be no coincidence. It was an obvious challenge to the president, and to be sure, an unmistakable sign of disrespect.

Meantime, halfway around the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin was toying with sending troops into Syria. Iran, which had just signed a nuclear deal with the United States, was continuing its rhetoric of open contempt for its new “partner.”

America’s enemies and rivals seem to have little fear with Obama at the helm. Would such derision, particularly by the Chinese, be offered up were Ronald Reagan president? Or even George W. Bush?

Obama boats

Obama’s naive policy of “outreach,” his grave affliction with indecision, and his ardent commitment to tentative half-measures have earned him the disrespect of the rest of the world.

Overseas, jackals reign in a Darwinian struggle for power and survival. They have a finely tuned nose for weakness, and with Obama, they sense it in abundance.

The problem is not so much that Obama refuses to launch the kind of military engagements Bush did. It is that he fails to understand the symbols of power and dithers instead of acting.

Obama didn’t do the wrong thing in Syria. He did nothing, refusing to decide whether to arm the Syrian rebels.

At the same time, he withdrew all U.S. troops from Iraq and crowed about it on the campaign trail in 2012. The result of his Syria and Iraq policies was opportunity knocking for extremists in the absence of U.S. policy, and the rise of ISIS.

In Libya, Obama “led from behind” and then abandoned the scene once Qaddafi had been removed, resulting in anarchy exploited by Islamists. He drew a red line in Syria and then backed away. He set a deadline for ending the war in Afghanistan, win or lose. He demanded that Iran dismantle its nuclear infrastructure, only to reach an agreement that permits Iran to develop nuclear weapons in 15 years.

He abandoned a stalwart ally, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and expressed optimism as the radical Islamist Egyptian Brotherhood seized power. Soon, he quietly acquiesced as the Egyptian generals took power back and slaughtered and imprisoned their opponents.

These are only a few of the exhibits in the Obama gallery of indecisiveness and timidity. Pair all this with the incessant golf, the long, luxurious vacations, and the indulgent White House parties, and America’s enemies know they are not dealing with a serious opponent.

Ronald Reagan understood that he had to be perceived as unrelenting, and it was this that allowed him to win the Cold War without firing a shot.

One of the most significant foreign policy decisions of his presidency was made on the domestic front, when Reagan opted in 1981 to fire most of the illegally striking air traffic controllers. The Soviet politburo took notice and understood that they were dealing with a resolute force.

It was Reagan’s same stubborn conviction not to abandon his anti-missile defense program, even as the initiative was ridiculed as “Star Wars” by the left and in the press, that made the Soviets realize they could not compete with American power on an equal footing, hastening the dissolution of their empire.

Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 is still debated today. But his resolve is not, and the flexing of American might caused the Libyans to abandon their nuclear aspirations and may have helped keep a temporary lid on the Iranian nuclear arms program. After all, why invite trouble?

Nobody fears trouble from Obama, least of all the Iranians, who will have their nuclear arsenal, obtain billions of dollars that had been frozen overseas, and keep the American hostages they have taken.

And not the Chinese either, who will send their warships close to American shores and grow their power in the Pacific, knowing the worst they have to fear is a lecture from the president.

This piece was first published in Polizette.

Labor Secretary Perez Goes After Ronald Reagan

Labor Secretary Tom Perez, one of the more ideological and also annoying members of the Obama administration, attacked Ronald Reagan for his prediction that Medicare would lead to socialized medicine and, indeed, socialism. Here’s some of what Reagan said. Now, I know everyone likes their Medicare. But Reagan had it absolutely right. With health insurers… Continue Reading

The Seriousness of Ronald Reagan

Fifty years ago today, Ronald Reagan staked his claim to leadership among conservatives with a speech meant to rescue Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. It didn’t rescue Goldwater. But it saved conservatism. And maybe the nation. Writing in the Washington Post, Steven Hayward, the Ronald Reagan distinguished visiting professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, notes that… Continue Reading

The Wit of Ronald Reagan

This ran on the CBS program Sunday Morning day before yesterday. The piece is ostensibly about how Reagan was methodical about his humor, but it’s really an excuse to air some of Reagan’s famous jokes and take a trip down memory lane. Funny how kind CBS is to Reagan. You’d have never seen something like… Continue Reading

Reagan? Who’s That Dude?

Yes, let’s throw some more money at education. It’s really working out great. And let’s make sure everyone goes to college, even these kids, who should instead be moving immediately into the cashier profession. Instead, Obama wants to make sure they’re in debt for advanced schooling, and that taxpayers are covering a bunch of their college… Continue Reading

A Key Figure in American History Died Saturday

Were you aware of that? Many of you probably know who I mean. Perhaps the best comment I’ve seen on the life of William Clark, former judge and advisor to Ronald Reagan, was made by another ex-Reagan aide, Faith Whittlesey, via The Washington Times: Bill Clark was Ronald Reagan’s best friend and was the great unsung hero… Continue Reading

Obama: Thatcher “One of the Great Champions of Freedom”

President Obama today hailed Margaret Thatcher, his ideological opposite, as “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty” who was a “true friend” of the United States. Obama sounded almost like a neoconservative in his gracious written tribute to Thatcher, who died today, writing that she “knew that with strength and resolve we could win… Continue Reading

Obama Allies Refuse to Recognize Ronald Reagan Day

Two of President Obama’s closest allies, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, are among eight Democratic governors refusing to recognize today, February 6, as “Ronald Reagan Day” in their states, according to the Washington Examiner. Two other Democratic governors can’t make up their mind whether to issue a proclamation making Reagan’s 102nd… Continue Reading