Skip to comments.Reagan/Buckley debate the Panama Canal Jan 1978(Will, Buchanan and John McCain's father also appear)
Posted on 05/31/2010 7:10:52 PM PDT by jeltz25
An interesting clip from C SPAN shows this debate between Reagan and Buckley in 1978 over the Panama Canal treaty. Buckley for it and Reagan against it. Even more interesting is seeing both a young George Will and a young Pat Buchanan among the questioners. Also, Reagan at times turns the floor over to his military expert who is none other than the father of a certain Arizona Senator.
It's not interesting to watch the debate but even more fascinating to see so many influential conservatives all at the same event, and knowing in the case of Will and Buchanan that 32 years later they're still around. I was surprised to see Adm. McCain. I don't think Sen McCain ever mentioned or spoke of his father's connection to Reagan in this event, and you'd think he would have.
Anyway, thought it might be of interest on this Memorial Day.
I can remember watching this live back in the day and concluding
that man should be president.
Admiral John McCain (d. 1981) was close to Reagan. Reagan’s relationship to politician McCain was more difficult because of McCain dumping his semi-disabled first wife for rich mistress who became his financier/second wife. Ronald and Nancy Reagan supported McCain after he won the GOP House primary in 1982 but they also remained close to his first wife who they made director of the White House visitor center.
I had thought that Buckley would cream him because he is so brilliant. That is not at all what happened. How anyone can call our 40th President stupid after hearing that debate is beyond me.
That was a treat.
I don’t think you can say he was proven right. If you read the things he said about it back then you would have thought the return of the canal would have been the end of the world. Well, it’s been 30 yrs or so and nothing’s really happened. I think most would say that the fears never really played out.
Interesting information. It’s amazing to see the connections between the various figures and leaders. Reagan made his name and reputation and burst on the scene by speaking for Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater’s defeat and the reaction against LBJ and The Great Society and his escalation in Vietnam among other things, led to the backlash in 1966 that brought Reagan to the Governorship in California. In 1973 Reagan made his first speech to CPAC and accompanying him was a newly freed POW back from Vietnam named John McCain. 5 years later his father would be Reagan’s 2nd in this debate. In 1986 McCain would fill Goldwater’s seat in the Senate. Later on he’d be the 2nd Arizonan nominated for President.
Say what you will about McCain, but he and his ancestors served this country honorably. It’s a shame most people have no clue about that history, or if they do, don’t care. I can guarntee you he’d never have bugged out of laying a wreath at Arlington on Memorial Day.
And seeing Will, Buckley and Buchanan, arguably the 3 most imfluential conservative media figures of the past generation.
Just interesting to see them all together.
It’s like seeing the clip of the 1980 NH GOP debate with Reagan, Bush and Dole together at the front of the hall. That picture right there pretty much gives you the next 28 yrs of the party and the country, if you include Bush and his son.
The treaties led to the Noriega dictatorship and inevitably to the US invasion of Panama in 1989. The long term results are still to be seen.