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Management styles of each poltician can many times be predicted by true
students of people and history, and by looking at all the circumstances.  If Obama admires Reagan that much, perhaps this gives us insight as to how this unseasoned manager will preside over our nation? Presidents should advocate for all the people more than manage a nation or orchestrate
corporations, but in this corporate minded world we live in, people may expect more CEO, less advocation show, but......

From Arthur Schlesinger's History of Presidential Elections, 1789-1984

    Reagan's political strength was similar to that of Dwight D. Eisenhower.  It was a personal not a party, phenomenon.  Without Reagan, the Republicans would be much weaker.  The first major political event of the year, therefore, was Reagan's decision to seek reelection despite his age.  At 73, he was already the oldest man ever to serve in the White House.  The Democrats dared not to make Reagan's advanced age an issue; his evident physical vigor and unbroken record of good health made the fact of his age a matter for public admiration rather than concern.  This admiration was bolstered by the presidents insouciant response to the shooting attempt on his life in March 1981.  "I forgot to duck," he joked to his wife.  As he was about to undergo surgery for removal of the bullet, he's wisecracked to the surgeons, ‘I hope you are all Republicans.’
    If reporters noted that Reagan worked only five or six hours a day, spent long weekends at Camp David, and took frequent vacations, this too, was not circumstance the Democrats could easily convert into an issue.  After President Carter’s long hours and studious work, and the earlier crises of the Nixon and Johnson years,  Reagan had hung President Calvin Coolidge’s portrait in the Cabinet room as a symbol of his esteem for that Republican predecessor.  Like Coolidge’s famous naps, Reagan’s relaxed approach to the Presidency was not only acceptable to the country but actually reassuring.  It was as if the man at the top was signaling the nation that things were not as bad as the news media would have the public believe.
    Reagan’s administrative style was not an accommodation to his advancing years.  It was a continuation of the way he had governed California for eight years from 1967 to 1975.  He viewed himself as a chairman of the board, rather than as an active executive. He delegated to senior aides most of his administrative power over appointments, legislation, the budget, and supervision of departments and agencies.  He involved himself on a day-to-day basis in only a few issues.  He was content to prove by broad policy direction and to serve as his administration's most persuasive spokesman.  A at the middle and upper levels of his administration, there were frequent struggles for power and for control of policy among Cabinet officers and factions of the White House staff.  Rivals waged ideological and personal feuds through "leaks" to the press.  These conflicts did the President no political harm; Reagan stayed above these battles, clearly unconcerned about any inefficiency or loss of morale that infighting might produce, and serenely confident of his ability to impose his will if and when he chose to do so.  Since the huge expansion of the activities of the federal government had begun under Franklin Roosevelt a half-century earlier, no President had governed with such a loose rein.
    Reagan was unfamiliar with the details or even the main issues in many disputes, both foreign and domestic.  Indeed, the breath of his ignorance was sometimes startling.  In October, 1983, for example, at a time when U.S.--Soviet arms control negotiations were breaking down, The New York Times reported that Reagan told a group of visitors that he had only recently learned that most of the Soviet nuclear deterrent force was in land-based rather than submarine-based missiles.  Surprisingly this disclosure evoked relatively little public comment.
    Like Eisenhower, but to an even greater extent, Reagan stayed politically popular by distancing himself in public from his own administration.  Scandals occurred and controversies flared, but the President, not ever having involved himself closely with most of these appointees or the problems confronting them, was untouched.
    Having been elected as an opponent of big government, Reagan said in his inaugural address government is not the solution to our problem.  Government is the problem. Once in office, he continued in speeches around the country to attack Washington and the bureaucracy.  He faltered to believe that he and his fellow citizens were allies against the government rather than that he had been chosen by them to direct the affairs of that government.
    Reagan's detached style of governing, his distancing himself from his own appointees and the career bureaucracy, and his blithe cheerfulness and impertubable optimism was central to the political problem faced by the Democrats in 1984.  Reagan was dubbed "the Teflon President: nothing sticks to him."  It was significant that in the fourth year of his Presidency there were no anti-Reagan jokes of the kind that normally circulate about Presidents.  There seemed to be no audience for them.  Politicians of both parties reported that many constituents disagreed with the President's policies, distrusted his intentions, or questioned his competence, and yet avowed that they liked him personally.  Democrats in Congress and at the state level were consequently reluctant to mount against him the kind of sustained attacks that had weakened other recent Presidents.
   This liking for Reagan did not have the firm foundation of respect for past accomplishments that undergirded a liking for Eisenhower in the 1950s.  Nor was there the profound gratitude and loyalty from broad masses of people that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s innovative programs had evoked.  Still less was Reagan a hero who inspired emulation and enthusiasm, particularly among younger voters, as John F. Kennedy did. The liking for Reagan was a reflection of his sunny disposition, a reciprocation of his positive approach.  It also correlated closely with the trend of the economy.

    What I fear as there are many seasoned politico's in Obama's inner circle, salivating at their only chance for presidential power. The purity and dream of Obama will only be puppeted by their desire for power.  Is this what the American people expect in this new hope from "camelot"?  Or is he from 'spamalot", and buyer's remorse will set in like rigormortis and his ideals lost in the process of politics as usual?     The American people need Universal Health Care and Ted Kennedy may help with the weaknesses in Obama's Original Health Plan.  Buyer beware!!! He may not be the President you hoped for!!

Originally posted to DrRenShen on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 01:54 PM PST.

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