Ronald Reagan on Principles & Values

The Teflon President: unburdened & un-blamed

Reagan was, it was said, Teflon-coated. Nothing stuck to him: not revelations of wrongdoing by aides, not occasional failures in foreign policy, not evidence that astrology may have influenced some of his decisions. Approaching his 78th birthday as his presidency drew to a close, Reagan was seen by many as the personification of Uncle Sam or as the grandfather of the nation. A scholar had called the presidency an “awesome burden,” but Reagan neared the end of his 2nd term as a remarkably untroubled man
Source: Grolier Encyclopedia on-line, “The Presidency” Dec 25, 2000

Cared more about policies than being “Great Communicator”

It was policies that mattered to Reagan. He was not over-impressed by his reputation as the “Great Communicator,” which he realized was often used to suggest that Americans liked the way he said things but disagreed with what he was saying. Reagan knew better. “I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content,” Reagan said in his farewell address. “I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation-from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscover of our values and our common sense.“
Source: The Role of a Lifetime, by Lou Cannon, p. 836 Jul 2, 1991

Re-election: Morning in America; ship of state realigned

Reagan presented himself in [re-election] campaign commercials, as a sort of sun, glowing with good news and good intentions, banishing memories of the recession. In the cloying slogan of his video scriptwriters, it was “Morning Again in America.” One could use phrases like “love of country” and “right to life” without embarrassment any more.

Poor decent, dull Walter Mondale realized Reagan [was unbeatable] when he debated him, and was famously rolled for trying to raise the age issue. “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,“ Reagan promised. Even Mondale had to laugh.

Americans favored Reagan because for four years he’d kept, or fought to keep, all his campaign promises. He had cut taxes, harnessed government, revived the economy, freed the entrepreneur, and cursed the ungodly. The ship of state was realigned, empowered, larger, prouder-and for those reasons less considerate of people who sailed steerage, or of powers that got in its way.

Source: Dutch, by Edmund Morris, p. 505-6 Oct 21, 1984

Survives getting shot; an “excellent physical specimen”

Reagan left the Washington Hilton at 2:25 PM on March 30, The usual motorcade awaited in the hotel’s curveway, not more than 13 feet ahead, engines humming. Suddenly, six bullets fired in less than two seconds hit four people. Jerry Parr, White House security chief, shoved Reagan into the open door of the limousine as the bullets zinged around the metal and bulletproof glass.

They reached George Washington University Hospital in three-and-a-half minutes. Reagan made himself get out and walk toward the emergency-room door. Just inside, out of public sight, his knees buckled.

[He was wheeled into surgery] with his wit intact: “Honey, I forgot to duck,” “Who’s minding the store?” and-to the solemn company costumed in surgical greens-“Please tell me you’re Republicans.”

The President’s chest was closed at 5:24 PM. He had “sailed through” surgery, the hospital announced, and was an “excellent physical specimen.” On April 11, the President was well enough to walk out of the hospital.

Source: Dutch, by Edmund Morris, p. 428-32 Mar 30, 1981

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Ronald Reagan on other issues:
John Ashcroft
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton (D,NY)
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Rudy Giuliani (R,NYC)
Al Gore
Alan Keyes
John McCain (R,AZ)
Ralph Nader
Ross Perot
Colin Powell
Jesse Ventura (I,MN)

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