Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Gipper!

Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday -- and Young America's Foundation is celebrating with an open house at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, Calif. Here's a quote from YAF spokesman George Allen:
“President Reagan’s clarion call to defeat the forces of totalitarianism freed millions from the shackles of Communism. And with his historic tax cut, he took upon his shoulders the cause of economic freedom and individual liberty. President Reagan was uniquely destined for his time, and his words will carry on for generations to come.”
I'll update later with more, but for right now: Happy Birthday!
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UPDATE: Here's part of Ronald Reagan's classic 1964 "Time For Choosing" speech:
Wow. It's still awesome, isn't it?
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And here is his 1982 "Tear Down This Wall" speech at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin:
Here's former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson, at last year's 20th anniversary of the "Tear Down This Wall" speech, talking about the origins of the speech:
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UPDATE II: What got me thinking about Ronald Reagan today was my dissatisfaction with the mediocre communicators of today's Republican Party, as I said after last week's debate:
It's the damnedest irony in the world: The party made great by the Great Communicator is in decline because nowadays Republicans can't seem to master the basics of being even a Fairly Decent Communicator, and the GOP's speechwriting teams seem to be composed entirely of Michael Gerson clones ...
This complaint was seconded by a commenter today:
Your comments about the mediocre communicators on Mitt's team are spot on.
We have been given far too many broad platitudes without enough specifics (such as the ones you suggest). Even my 13 year old son picked up on the lack of specificity during the debates.
His Michigan win was very focused on specific proposals and he clearly benefited from that.
There is a reason why Mitt is losing to McCain on the economy, and it's because of the poorly communicated message.
Just so. I have no idea how an experienced executive like Romney can allow himself to be surrounded by such a second-rate message team. He's got every top communicator in the conservative movement -- Limbaugh, Malkin, Ingraham, Mark Levin -- in his corner, and yet Romney can't seem to figure out what the problem is. It's frustrating to watch.
UPDATE III: Thanks for the link, MK. Be sure to check out my "Message to Mitt."

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