33 thoughts on “Good-bye, Mr. President”

  1. A sad day, indeed.

    If you’re looking for coverage on this, whatever you do, don’t watch the alphabet soup networks. Stick with the Evil Fox News Network©. I put on ABC News and Sam “Bodybags” Donaldson was ripping RR about SDI, Iran-Contra etc. I’m sure the same thing is happening on the other networks.


  2. May his memory be blessed. He looked good when he was in office, and his record keeps looking better with the passage of time.

  3. I loved the guy.

    He was the perfect man for the job, and he came along at the perfect time. When you look at his life, it’s apparent he was molded by God to be President at a critical time in the country’s history.

    I hope they renew the call to put him on Mt. Rushmore.

  4. Roanld Reagan was the greatest president of my lifetime. He was a man you could – and did – look up to. He was a man of courage, optimism and principles. He made Americans believe in themselves again, because he believed in us and he believed with all his heart in what America stood for and what it could be. He had a way of calling forth the best from us. He inspired us. He had an amazing sense of humor and was never afraid to laugh to himself; one of his most endearing qualities.

    Yet he was a leader, you never doubted that. He was a man of tremendous vision and had the skill to communicate that vision to America. He changed the course of the United States and he helped to change the course of history.

    I’ll miss you, Mr. President. We were lucky to have you.

  5. A magnificient President he was, and is.

    As a know-nothing 18 year old, I cast my vote for President Carter in 1976, but even in those days I had the good fortune of developing an appreciation for leadership and corrected the mistake in 1980.

    With all due respect to Mr. Carter, a decent man but a poor President, the difference could not have been more stark.

    The 1964 speech may be the most significant of President Reagan’s many notables. As he said then, there should be no Left or Right, only Up or Down. Freedom to fly as high as one’s talents and ability would take them, or down into the muck of totalitarianism, of man’s rule and domain over other men.

    I only hope that our present day leaders would understand.

  6. Many say he is the greatest president since FDR, but you have to go all the way back to Lincoln to find a president of such character.

  7. From Dutch, page 556:

    [EDMUND MORRIS:] Many years later, I asked Gorbachev the question that tantalized me that morning [in Geneva]: what he saw when he looked up into Ronald Reagan’s eyes.

    “Sunshine and clear sky. We shook hands like friends. He said something, I don’t know what. But at once I felt him to be a very authentic human being.”

    “Authentic? What word is that in Russian?” I asked the interpreter. He was startled to be addressed directly, and shot Gorbachev a nervous look.

    Lichnost. It is a very difficult word to translate because it means ‘personality’ in English. Or ‘figure’, but in the dignified Italian sense, figura. But in Russian, its meaning is much bigger than in these languages: a lichnost man is someone of great strength of character who rings true, all the way through to his body and soul. He is authentic, he has –”

    Kalibr,” said Gorbachev, who had been listening intently.

    (Emphasis mine.)

  8. I feel an inescapable sadness as I reminisce about
    President Reagan. I was just old enough to vote in 1984 and Reagan was the first president I voted for. I felt proud then, and now feel blessed to have participated in the making of history.

  9. Well, I was a teenager across the pond when he was President. By the time I got here, he had already said his farewell. So I had never seen or heard him in his own words until this w-e. Such wit and charisma.

    One thing is certain : all this TV memorabilia doesn’t make the current incumbent look good at all by comparison.

  10. all this TV memorabilia doesn’t make the current incumbent look good at all by comparison.

    No, it doesn’t.

  11. I shouldn’t have written that. George Bush is a good man and I think we are fortunate that he and not Al Gore was elected. Bush’s war leadership has on balance been very good and is visionary in important ways.

    However, he does not have Reagan’s ideological passion or depth (not many politicians do), and it’s difficult to compare the two men. Bush may turn out to be a great president, but Reagan was really exceptional. It’s too soon to make such judgments in any case.

  12. It’s fine, Jonathan. You have to go way back to find a president who compares well to Reagan.

  13. W has it in him, but he’s got to start channeling his mom, not his dad.

    But he’ll never be The Great Communicator. However, Ronnie’s most important phrases were short and sweet, “Evil Empire” Tear down this Wall.” There you go again, and my personal fav, The bombing begins in 5 minutes.

    It still have the Jeff McNelly cartoon where Ronnie pushes a button on a space laser and lights Gorby’s cig. When McNelly died, I cut that out, it was one of my favs.

    The ME is listening to W, just like Central and Eastern Europe listened to Ronnie. Doesn’t have to be pretty, just get the point across.

  14. I loved the “bombing” remarks, and I don’t think they went unnoticed by our enemies. Very helpful, as was Reagan’s firing of the air controllers.

  15. As long as we’re reminiscing, one of my favorite memories is the hostages in Iran being released 33 minutes after Reagans inauguration. I have a mental picture of a roomful of mullahs on the verge of crapping their robes because they have no idea what RR will do.

  16. Yeah, I remember the day of the inauguration like it was yesterday. No one was surprised that the Iranians were afraid of Reagan. He was absolutely certain to attack them, and they knew it.

    Comparing Bush to Reagan doesn’t work. Things were very, very dire in 1979. These Muslim terrorists are bad, but they are nothing compared to the old Soviet Union, with thousands of tanks, thousands of ballistic missiles, and on the march. These terrorists can hurt us if they get lucky. The commies could have exterminated us in couple of hours any time they decided to. The P3 Orions operating out of Weymouth Naval Air Station flew over my house several times per day. They would orbit out over the Atlantic, where the Soviet subs were parked offshore to demolish the East Coast. Flight time for their missiles, 12 minutes. The Orions might have taken out some of the subs before they could launch. It was a different world.

  17. Well, when one signs a contract that states one will not strike…..Lex, you’re the attorney.

    PATCO learned a hard lesson.

  18. Miguel D’Escoto, the former Sandinista foreign minister, and an unrepentant psychopathic commie bastard, was quoted on some news site as saying something disparaging about Reagan. I think it’s an honor to be slandered by scum like D’Escoto.

  19. PATCO made a considered effort to have a showdown with Reagan early in his term to force him to surrender, to impose an early defeat on him, to destroy his presidency at the outset. They knew what they were doing. They chose to go to war with Reagan. They figured he was some old blowhard with a funny haircut who’d crumble. Oops. It was a test of willpower. He was right on the law, and he won.

  20. As an inner city kid growing up in the 80’s, Reagan helped me understand the ways in which the GOP was my party. How it spoke not only to Wall Street fat cats, but to ordinary people who love America, their families and God.

    Rest in peace, Mr. President, and thank you. It’s mourning in America.

  21. Jonathan, of course it’s not easy. For starters, we are comparing the best of 8 Reagan years with the average of 4 Bush years.

    But the gap in style and communication skills still seems abysmal to me. Without even going into their delivery, the substance of his speeches was an order of magnitude above the predictable, stiff platitudes we still get from W., regardless of the occasion. And the style, of course, combined with their effective rythm and timing.

    Lex, of course things were different but I don’t see how that changes anything; although they will reveal those that exist below the surface, higher stakes will not give people talents they don’t have. Churchill was a gifted writer and speaker long before the war. Reagan has been a good story teller for decades. I doubt W. would become any better if things got worse or better. Whatever you think of his policies, he is an extremely poor communicator and the current Reagan segments on TV make him look extremely weak in this respect, in my opinion.

  22. “…higher stakes will not give people talents they don’t have…”

    Does the man make the times or do the times make the man? Both. Churchill was politically washed up, and was not taken seriously by a lot of people, but there was no one left but him so Britain turned to him. His speaking style, which seems so classically English to us now, seemed old-fashioned and overly romantic to many of his contemporaries.

    We’ll never know how Clinton or Gore would have risen to the occasion if 9/11 had happened in a Clinton or Gore presidency. Would they have risen grandly to the occasion? I think not, but we can never know.

    Nonetheless, Sylvain’s basic point that Bush II is not the speaker that either Reagan or Churchill were is true. That is a pretty stellar standard, though. He’s no FDR or Jack Kennedy, either. I suppose that all that matters is: Is he good enough? Too early to say. I wish he’d speak more. He’s fairly effective when he does. And we need more communication from him. How about Kerry? Is he a nascent Reagan? No way. Was Jimmy Carter in Reagan’s league? No way.

    Bottom line: George W. Bush and all the rest of us live in a world Reagan made possible, thank God.

  23. ChicagoGrrl, before the ’84 election there was a Reagan campaign poster on the IC viaduct around 53rd St. in Hyde Park, with a photo of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and another famous black boxer whose name I don’t remember. The caption read: “We’re Voting for the Man.” I don’t know whose idea that poster was but I really liked the attitude.

  24. Man, would I love to get my hands on one of those posters. I’m tempted to look for it on eBay, but I imagine that Reagan paraphernalia might be going at slightly inflated rates right about now…

    Actually, there are some amazing looking Reagan campaign posters posted on eBay, including a campy “Bedtime For Brezhnev” rarity.

  25. You know, Rick, I, too, once thought Carter was a decent man, but his actions since 90 makes me think he’s really a petty, vindictive person.

    Guess I’ll fork over hard cash to read his bio.

    I do not remember growing up former pres’ going behind current pres’ backs – like Carter did to the UN.

  26. Since this is so far down I doubt anybody will read this but…

    I’ve been in Europe (UK and Italy) for the last 2 weeks on business and have watched the death of Reagan mainly through British eyes. I must say that the Brits had very little bad to say about him, which I thought curious. They did give the classic paragraph with misinterpretations of his economic policies and their results, but other than that they genuinely seemed to like him and viewed him as a great man. I didn’t get as good of a perspective from the rest of Europe, so I won’t comment.

    But I was struck with how the Brits in general tried to even take this event and use it as a way to dig at Bush, who they are absolutely obcessed with. The problem is, as I told a dinner full of Brits is that Reagan would have done the exact same thing in the same situation, only with a smile. It was very curious how they talked about how strong Reagan was in confronting the Soviet Union as a way to contrast him with Bush. The bottom line is that maybe they felt more involved as an equal (with Thatcher by Reagan’s side) than they do now.

    The most amusing part of the trip was on the morning news program they had a viewer poll: “Is Tony Blair George Bush’s poodle?”

    I think that sums up my whole experience perfectly.

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