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Monday, January 21, 2013

Obama moves into Reagan territory as Republicans start looking for ways to embrace him

Obama becomes a "great" president

From the piece:

Obama's partisans would have made a case for his greatness even if he had only been a one-term president: The symbolism of his race; the era-ending slaying of Bin Laden; the sweep of health care legislation; the success in avoiding the abyss of the financial crisis. But there would have been a good case, too, for treating him as an interesting footnote of a president: He cleaned up George W. Bush's messes, but went too far. The Affordable Care Act a bit of over-reach, swiftly repealed; the recovery credited to President Romney.

Now we are in Reagan territory, and in the hall of statues in the American imagination that includes, this century, probably only FDR and maybe JFK and Teddy besides. Obama's best interpreter, Andrew Sullivan, made that case last fall: "If Obama wins, to put it bluntly, he will become the Democrats' Reagan. The narrative writes itself. He will emerge as an iconic figure who struggled through a recession and a terrorized world, reshaping the economy within it, passing universal health care, strafing the ranks of al -Qaeda, presiding over a civil-rights revolution, and then enjoying the fruits of the recovery."

Sullivan predicts, "Reagan status (maybe minus the airport-naming)." Actually, Midway is pretty much waiting for a name.

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