Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Reagan centennial stirs GOP to look back, ahead ^ | Friday, February 4, 2011 | Carla Marinucci

Posted on 02/05/2011 11:36:41 AM PST by Syncro

Edited on 02/05/2011 11:38:02 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

As Republicans mark the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth Sunday, a nostalgic GOP confronts a nagging question: Can the party of the former president and California governor hope to produce future leaders who can meet his iconic political gold standard?
"Reagan is still the lodestar for Republicans," said Sacramento political consultant Sal Russo, a UC Berkeley student activist in 1964 when he was tapped to be a driver, and later a special assistant, to Reagan when he was California's governor from 1967 to 1975. "You can't have a conversation about Republican politics without bringing him up."
Russo - now a leading force behind the Tea Party Express, which is creating a populist firestorm in GOP politics - said Reagan's legacy provides a template for Republicans who hope to gain ground, and even win back the White House, in 2012.
"Reagan understood political reality, and his positions evolved - and there's nothing wrong with that," Russo said. "Both political parties have a tendency to get a little insular." Moving beyond isolation, he said, is "what Reagan did - both in California and the rest of the country."
No modern version
Insiders say it is still unclear who among the current crop of GOP hopefuls, in California and on the national scene, can easily assume that mantle.
"I think one of the reasons the Tea Party Express has been most successful is that we employ a lot of lessons I learned from him," said Russo, whose movement has helped bring politicians such as the often-divisive Rep. Michele Bachman of Minnesota and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the GOP fore.
The GOP, he said, cannot only look back - it needs to look forward to leaders who can provide, like Reagan, a guiding light for Republican values.
"Someone will come along who has that gift...
Read more:

TOPICS: Editorial; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: reagan; russo; salrusso; tpx

1 posted on 02/05/2011 11:36:43 AM PST by Syncro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Syncro

I initially did not like Reagan because I thought he was a phony and I couldn’t stand his voice (very “actorish,” but of course, he had been an actor). However, over the years, I realized that he really believed what he said.

I was living in CA when he was governor and while he did a lot of excellent things, he would occasionally reveal a completely out-of-touch side (for example, when he suggested that patients from the mental hospitals that he was closing in a cost-cutting move could get jobs as playground monitors) that seriously undermined his credibility.

My feeling: he wasn’t a political saint, but he did love the US and I think everything he did was based on this. And that’s what we need. People (including politicians and office holders) can and do make mistakes, but their principles have to be true. And even though I didn’t always agree with everything he did, his principles were true and he loved the US and all it stood for.

So future politicians take note: this is what you have to love, the USA and its ideals, and this is what will define you to the voters now and in the future, to history.

2 posted on 02/05/2011 11:45:38 AM PST by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson; onyx; All
A note from Sal Russo included in the notification of this article from him in email this morning:

I  am down at the Reagan Library today for the Reunion side of the Birthday celebration.  Tomorrow is the big public celebration – the jet fly-over, 21 gun salute.  Unfortunately, I will be on the plane to Washington and will miss all of that.


(This) is one of the many stories asking whether the tea party hero, Ronald Reagan, would be a Tea Party person.  Of course, he would.  And it is ridiculous the way so many are trying to paint the Tea Party movement as outside of Reaganism.


They forget that Reagan ran for Governor, with me as his young aide at his side (lol), against the Republican establishment candidate, Mayor George Christopher of San Francisco.  He took on establishment supported Nixon for President in 1968.  He ran against the incumbent Republican President, Jerry Ford, in 1976.  He took on the Republican establishment again when he ran for President in 1980 – the establishment was split between George Bush and John Connally.  Now, liberals try to portray him as a get-along, go-along kind of guy, which is totally wrong.  He was warm and friendly always, but he adhered to his principles his whole career.


There are some tea party people that are not very Reagan-like in that they have unreasonable expectations and think everyone in politics is evil – we had a lot of that on our tours when people said “vote everyone out.”  Stupid.  We have that with term limits in the California legislature and it is now full of people who know nothing and have let the state rot.


The one thing Reagan would always preach to me was that the American people are good people, have good instincts, and will always do the right thing.  BUT, they need good leaders to show them the way.  He was a good leader, and I think we have all been good leaders at the Tea Party Express.

3 posted on 02/05/2011 11:46:27 AM PST by Syncro (Sarah Palin, the unofficial Tea Party candidate for president--Virtual Jerusalem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: livius
...he wasn’t a political saint

No politician is.

Be careful not to put any politician in that category, and on the other hand watch for posters that refer to politicians as Saint (insert name here.) (They have unresolved issues)

Trivia: Reagan was the first politician to use makeup for TV appearances.

And the greatest President in the last century.

4 posted on 02/05/2011 11:55:37 AM PST by Syncro (Sarah Palin, the unofficial Tea Party candidate for president--Virtual Jerusalem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Syncro

Today’s talking points are out.

5 posted on 02/05/2011 12:02:43 PM PST by CajunConservative (0, we'll stop treating you like a dog, when you stop treating us like a hydrant.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: livius

BRAVO! We can love a leader but we have to keep it real. As you say, look for the basic guiding principles.

6 posted on 02/05/2011 12:37:43 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Syncro

7 posted on 02/05/2011 12:55:06 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Syncro

I am smiling Syncro. Just like Sal Russo said, “Of course he would”. RWR would be a member of the Tea Party and a very vociferous and enthusiastic one at that!

8 posted on 02/05/2011 4:04:26 PM PST by onyx (If you truly support Sarah Palin and want to be on her busy ping list, let me know!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson