Foe week

The Washington Times Weekly - - NATIONAL -

What a mem­o­rable week, po­lit­i­cally speak­ing, it was be for the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum in Cal­i­for­nia, start­ing with the April 28 ap­pear­ance by Sen. Ed­ward M. Kennedy and cul­mi­nat­ing with the first Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial de­bate of the 2008 cam­paign on May 3.

“As an oc­ca­sional vis­i­tor, a donor to the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary, and as a great ad­mirer of Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan, I must voice my ex­treme dis­plea­sure over the planned Rea­gan Fo­rum on [April 28],” Rick Reiss wrote to li­brary of­fi­cials in ad­vance of Mr. Kennedy’s lec­ture, the let­ter posted by the Con­ser­va­tive Revo­lu­tion blog. “To put it sim­ply, Sen­a­tor Kennedy is an un­suit­able and in­ap­pro­pri­ate fig­ure to be given the priv­i­lege of lec­tur­ing at the Ron­ald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary.”

Such protests didn’t pre­vent the lec­ture by the Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat, nor did it stop Nancy Rea­gan from es­cort­ing the sen­a­tor — arm-in-arm — to the stage to ad­dress the 600 in at­ten­dance. Mr. Kennedy, ac­cord­ing to the Ven­tura County Star, lec­tured for one hour on the need for a “diplo­matic surge” if the United States is to be suc­cess­ful in Iraq. Oth­er­wise, he opined, the war can­not be won uni­lat­er­ally.

“We have learned again, as Pres­i­dent Rea­gan told us, that might alone can­not make Amer­ica right,” Mr. Kennedy said. “End­ing it is es­sen­tial to our se­cu­rity and to re­gain­ing the re­spect of the world.” con­ser­va­tion like this is more than just com­mon sense — I tell you it is an act of pa­tri­o­tism.”

Mr. Ed­wards: “We ought to ask Amer­i­cans to be pa­tri­otic about some­thing other than war. To be will­ing to con­serve.” And in the “moral leader” arena: Mr. Carter: “This kind of sum­ma­rized a lot of other state­ments: ‘Mr. Pres­i­dent, we are con­fronted with a moral and a spir­i­tual cri­sis.’ ”

Mr. Ed­wards: “I don’t think I could iden­tify one per­son that I con­sider to be my moral leader.”

There were other com­par­isons where th­ese came from. Of course, this isn’t the first ex­am­i­na­tion of sim­i­lar­i­ties sur­round­ing this pair of south­ern politi­cians, al­beit of two dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions and worlds.

“This John, with his win­ning smile and aw-shucks man­ner, looked like the latest ver­sion of the South­ern sav­ior,” Ger­ard Baker, the U.S. ed­i­tor of the Times of Lon­don, opined in Fe­bru­ary.

How­ever, the “chan­nel­ing” we re­ferred to doesn’t stop with Mr. Carter, or so Mr. Baker pointed out: “The man who was cat­a­pulted from ob­scu­rity to the front line of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics be­cause he sounded like Jimmy Carter and seemed to think like Bill Clin­ton is hop­ing to win the pres­i­dency on a plat­form bor­rowed from Ge­orge McGovern.”

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