Overshadowed by the Master?
Last Friday the media fell all over itself to pity John Kerry as they compared him unfavorably to Bill Clinton. As Dwight Meredith wrote, there was much wringing of the hands of those that questioned how was Kerry to stand against the brilliance and sheer intelligence that was characteristic of Clinton. And, of course, the right wingers ran with this meme: poor John, who will never inspire the American public in the way Clinton did.
So, it seemed almost like a karmic reversal this week, that the politician who was most overshadowed and shone coming up wanting was George W. Bush when compared to the Republican master pol, Ronald Reagan. There was Bush speechifying at the Normandy beach just when the entire US media turned their attention to the legacy of Reagan. So how long will George's speech be remembered? Furthermore Bush does not do humble well. As pessimist noted, when Bush was asked about being a Reagan Republican, his reply showed he felt second to none and didn't need to pay homage to anyone. (Ah, Bush, the true self-made man.)
Some Republicans are hopeful that the deluge of Reagan nostalgia will rub off on Bush and make Americans yearn for the certainty and optimism of good old-fashioned conservativism. Yet, even the Santa Cruz Sentinal, a longtime Republican paper owned by McPherson family (who contributed a CA State Senator, Bruce McPherson to politics) talks about where Bush fails to fill the Reagan legacy.
The current president, George W. Bush, came into office in many ways trying to recreate the Reagan legacy.
...But the biggest difference between the two is the one that has hurt Bush the most: communicating.
...Bush is a far more polarizing figure, and there does not seem to be such a creature as a "Bush Democrat."
Our current president, who clearly admires Reagan, would do well to remember that it's not just what you say, but how you say it.
Senator Chuck Hagel says its not fair to compare Bush to Reagan, because one is bigger than life -- maybe if Bush is reelected, then it will be useful to see how Bush stacks up to Reagan.
Yet, perhaps the reason there are so many comparing Bush to Reagan is because the Rove machine opportunitistically decided to claim Reagan's mantel (and crown) for Bush.