How Obama Is More Like Ronald Reagan Than Jimmy Carter

Some Republicans have tried to compare Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter. Eli Lake looks at Obama’s foreign policy views and finds that, with regards to fighting terrorism, Obama’s polices have more in common with Ronald Reagan’s approach used against the Soviet Union in the final days of the cold war than with Carter’s policies.

One of the refreshing things about Obama is the manner in which he really does have a post-partisan outlook. Moving beyond the old partisan divides is one of the reasons he has won the nomination in an era where old definitions of Democrats and Republicans no longer apply, and so many of us independents who had been unhappy with both the Democratic and Republican Parties are backing him.

While there remain those who are too blinded by ideology to realize it, the old stereotypes on economics are obsolete, with Democrats now winning the votes of affluent professionals and having the candidate with the better grasp of free market economics (as opposed to Republican corporate welfare). Obama might bring about the same type of changes in the roles of the parties on foreign policy as Americans are finally learning, as a consequence of Iraq, that the strongest foreign policy is often the one which is the smartest, not the most bellicose.

It is a shame that many Americans have failed to learn from history as the same lessons could have been learned after Viet Nam. Instead we were doomed to relive the worst of the Nixon years under George Bush (in ways not limited to Viet Nam).  While Obama has often been compared to several previous presidents of both parties, there is little doubt as to which previous president Bush most closely resembles.

Tony Snow Dies at 53

Tony Snow, former anchor for Fox News and White House Press Secretary under George W. Bush has died at age 53 of colon cancer. Snow had also been chief speech writer and deputy assistant to the president for media affairs under George H. W. Bush. Snow joined Fox in 1996 as the original host of Fox News Sunday and has worked as an anchor and commentator. While Scott McClellan, who Snow replaced as press secretary in 2006, has created controversy by criticizing Bush after leaving the post, Snow had done so before beginning the job:

As a commentator, he had not always been on the president’s side. He once called Bush “something of an embarrassment” in conservative circles and criticized what he called Bush’s “lackluster” domestic policy.

While McClellan was often on the defensive as press secretary, Snow’s approach to the job was far more aggressive as he used the position to promote conservative views and defend Bush’s policies, often in a combative manner. President Bush released the following statement:

“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend, Tony Snow. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jill, and their children, Kendall, Robbie and Kristi. The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character. … He brought wit, grace and a great love of country to his work. His colleagues will cherish memories of his energetic personality and relentless good humor. All of us here at the White House will miss Tony, as will the millions of Americans he inspired with his brave struggle against cancer.”

Snow’s interests extended beyond politics:

Snow played six instruments — saxophone, trombone, flute, piccolo, accordion and guitar — and was in a D.C. cover band called Beats Workin’. He also was a film buff.

With that, I’ll end with Tony Snow playing the blues: