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What do you think of this?

I, Friday, didn't write this. Stole it from one of my debate groups.

I've written before about the parallels between the polling performance of Barack Obama and that of Ronald Reagan, who also took office at a time of economic difficulty. The chart at left (H/t Washington Monthly) lays it out graphically.

Dan Balz, writing in the Washington Post, echoes the point as well:

Around the White House these days, the president's advisers draw analogies with Reagan to paint a hopeful portrait of Obama's weakened standing. Reagan, they note, had approval ratings around 50 percent at the end of his first year in office and ended up winning a landslide reelection victory in 1984. What they don't say so vocally is that Reagan's approval dipped into the 40s in the fall of 1982, and that his party suffered substantial losses in Congress that November

Answer Question

Asked by Friday at 7:38 PM on Jan. 18, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (7,317 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Obama has long shown an interest in Reagan's presidency. During Obama's campaign, he got under the skin of former President Bill Clinton when he characterized Reagan's presidency as one that "changed the trajectory of America" in ways that neither Clinton's nor Richard M. Nixon's had done.

    Of course, the fact that Obama's poll numbers have dropped in parallel to Reagan's does not constitute an argument that they will rebound as did Reagan's. But it does reinforce the point that politics - particularly presidential politics - is a game played over the long run. Obama himself seems quite cognizant of that fact, even if others at times do not.


    Answer by Friday at 7:39 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • I think this argument might hold more merit if there was the sheer volume of people speaking out ( I dont remember another time when conservatives went out en masse to protest...does anyone else?) against the changes he is making. He is also making silly mistakes like claiming the recession is over when it clearly isnt. I do not agree with any of his policies nor the way he is choosing to execute them. However, if by some FLUKE he gets the turn around Reagan did I will eat my words. One more point about Reagan, he did NOT have the media backing that Obama does. As a matter of fact, young as I was, I remember they FRIED him regularly. The fact that Obama is slipping like he is WITH all the backing he has makes his slip seem a little more substantial.


    Answer by momof030404 at 7:45 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • That should be *Wasnt hte sheer volume...sorry :)

    Answer by momof030404 at 7:47 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • No worries, I get your point.


    Answer by Friday at 7:52 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • LOL, BO doesn't stand an ice cube's chance in hell of getting re-elected, and I'm GLAD! He's not even half the man Reagan was. Reagan was a legend.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:53 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • Remind me though, did Reagan spend as much as Obama has in his first year? I think Obama has spent more and is also planning on taxing anything that stays still long enough, or that doesn't have a lobbyist.

    I don't particularly care if people like or dislike Obama.  We, as a country, just can't afford him.  It's that simple.


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:54 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • What Reagan did worked, his plan was for "we the people"! What this admin is doing isn't for us, they have their own selfish greedy agenda, they want to reduce us to penniless beggars with nothing, while they, the elitists, live like royalty...
    Look at the statement Pelosi made about the unions being exempt from the 40% tax for H/C, she said that ALL Americans would benefit from this agreement, WTH??? Is she a martian?

    Answer by agentwanda at 8:02 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • LOL, BO doesn't stand an ice cube's chance in hell of getting re-elected, and I'm GLAD! He's not even half the man Reagan was. Reagan was a legend.

    Maybe in YOUR mind and that of other conservatives. Honestly, I don't really put too much stock in those munbers NOW...ANYTHING could happen in a negative or positive way to change the numbers. Poeple are fickle..KWIM??


    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 8:31 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • I was really hoping this question would get more answers :(

    Answer by momof030404 at 8:52 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • In a way it's comparing apples and oranges, imo. In the early 80s there were ppl voting who had lived through the Great Depression, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The events that happen during your lifetime help to mold and determine the kind of person you likely will become, how you respond to adversity and what you value and deem important. How many ppl voting today were old enough to remember living through the Great Depression and the changes that resulted? Have the wars that we experienced in the last 2 decades, or even 911 impacted our country and world as greatly as WWII? Did the social framework change as much as a result of these events? All these incidents help shape ppls' attitudes, perceptions and actions. Politics and political opinions included.


    Answer by Sisteract at 9:38 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

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