Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Carter-Reagan Redux?

Can't you just feel national politics building to a race twixt Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Obama as a redux of the 1980 Reagan-Carter run?

Carter-Reagan Redux?

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Smell that?

BE: What?

JB: The current political air. It's carrying a media-driven scent of a redux of 1980 when a smart Democratic incumbent was challenged by a plain-talking western cowboy Republican.

BE: Oh, I thought the sewer had backed up again. You're talking about Reagan over Carter.

JB: Exactly. It smells to me like the 24-7 national political press and cable TV talking heads are restirring that recipe in hopes of a repeat race of the very same flavor.

BE: Texas Gov. Rick Perry as Ronald Reagan.

JB: Kinda the same look, no? The swagger? The straight talk? The hair?

BE: And President Obama as Jimmy Carter.

JB: Both elected on promises of change. Both caught up in foreign woes. Both smacked with economic downturns. I'm telling you, the media likes black and white fights: educated incumbent believers in government such as Carter and Obama vs. tough-talking, get-gubment-off-our-backs D.C. outsiders such as Reagan and Perry.

BE: Well, other than the fact that Carter's rescue of the hostages in Iran failed miserably and Obama's strike on Osama bin Laden was a complete success, there is an intriguing similarity.

JB: And Perry's rocking the polls. The website realclearpolitics.com today has an average of recent polls that shows Perry second only to Mitt Romney, and only by a slim 1.8% (20.2% for Mitt, 18.4% for Perry) among 10 GOP candidates and potential candidates.

BE: Where's my man Santorum after his good showing in the Iowa straw poll?

JB: Tenth. With 1.8%. I've told you before, it's over for that Rick.

BE: But Texas Rick talked about his state leaving the union. He questions Obama's love of country, fitness for command, wants "ugly" Texas justice against the Fed chair, suggests our troops don't respect their commander-in-chief because he never served and says global warming is a myth.

JB: And your point is? You think this hurts Perry among GOP voters? Weigh that against Obama's meaningless Midwest bus tour in his new million-dollar buses and his upcoming 10-day Martha's Vineyard vacation at the pricey, exclusive Blue Heron Farm. Think that helps Obama among his urban Democratic base struggling in a seemingly endless economic tide sweeping hope and change away?

BE: Are you writing Perry's speeches?

JB: I'm saying the atmosphere is charged for a Perry-Obama clash with clear, simple-to-define differences because America's been dumbed down to basic, partisan beliefs with no room for sensible compromise, policy nuance or -- as a result -- substantive progress on any major issue.

BE: How does that make you feel?

JB: Just Grrrr-ate.

 

 

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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