Posts Tagged ‘Fred Barnes’

George W. Bush. Crawford, Texas, Aug. 7, 2001--Photo Eric Draper

Under valkampanjen 2000 fick George W. Bush frågan vad han skulle göra om han förlorade.

Go fishing.

Källa: Rebel-in-Chief av Fred Barnes. Bild: Eric Draper.

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POLITIK | Ronald Reagan har ofta framställts som en både lat och okunnig president. Även av personer som borde veta bättre.

Fred Barnes, executive editorThe Weekly Standard, har skrivit en intressant artikel som slår hål på myterna kring Reagan.

The Reagan collection consists of seven books.


Taken together, these books torpedo the four elements of the conventional profile of Reagan. One, he had scant knowledge of many of the issues that came before him. Two, he was a “detached” president—that was Newsweek’s description—aloof from the day-to-day business in the White House. Three, he was overly reliant on the advice of his advisers and was often their puppet. Four, he was lazy. When I covered the Reagan presidency, I agreed to some degree with three of these. I was wrong. All four are false.

Three of the Reagan books are conclusive. The radio broadcasts knock down the idea that Reagan was clueless on complex issues. The book on nuclear weapons provides a picture of Reagan in command of his advisers and willing to override their views and those of his foreign allies. And the diaries, which are fun to read, reveal how hard he worked, especially on weeknights in the living quarters of the White House and on weekends at Camp David.


That Reagan was like a child fortunate enough to have hired adults as his chief handlers—that myth has dogged him since he ran for governor of California in 1966. And it remains embedded in the conventional wisdom of the political community. Not only have his managers and strategists been credited with running efficient campaigns on his behalf—while he was limited to speechmaking—they’ve also been credited with guiding him through a successful governorship and presidency. Reagan’s contribution in this scenario was simply to have been an excellent speaker willing to echo the words of his handlers.

This is nonsensical: No politician has ever had advisers with skills so unfailing. Besides, the big ideas of the Reagan era came from Reagan himself. The biggest was his obsession with eliminating nuclear weapons entirely, a goal he pursued despite the opposition of many of his advisers and his closest foreign ally, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. It was Reagan, not his aides, who came to the conclusion that mutual assured destruction, the theory that fear of massive nuclear retaliation would deter a first strike by the United States or the Soviet Union, was immoral. “What’s so good about a peace kept by the threat of destroying each other?” Reagan asked “many times,” according to Secretary of State George P. Shultz. “The public was hesitant to embrace” Reagan’s idea, Shultz writes in the foreword to Reagan’s Secret War, and “advisers Reagan trusted and who were experts in this area didn’t support it. But none of that diminished Reagan’s conviction.”

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Weekly Standard den 25 juni 2012.

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SÅ SENT SOM i maj meddelade republikanen Newt Gingrich att han kandiderar till presidentposten (se videon). Nu har hela kampanjstaben avgått p.g.a. meningsskiljaktigheter om strategin. 

Gingrich har meddelat att han startar om kampanjen idag. ”I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”

Men sannolikheten att han skall lyckas omgruppera är minimal.

Jonathan Martin, Politico, skriver:

[C]ampaign manager Rob Johnson, strategists Sam Dawson and Dave Carney, spokesman Rick Tyler, and consultants Katon Dawson in South Carolina and Craig Schoenfeld in Iowa have all quit to protest what one called a ”different vision” for the campaign.


Gingrich was intent on using technology and standing out at debates to get traction while his advisers believed he needed to run a campaign that incorporated both traditional, grassroots techniques as well as new ideas.

Med andra ord ville staben se en kampanj som hade rimliga chanser att lyckas.

Droppen som fick bägaren att rinna över var att Gingrich med fru åkte iväg på semester istället för att ta itu med problemen.

Att sticka iväg på semester är knappast det mest professionella man kan göra i ett känsligt läge för kampanjen.

Fred Barnes The Weekly Standard:

Aides to Newt Gingrich have resigned from his presidential campaign in protest of what they felt was a takeover by Callista Gingrich, the candidate’s wife since 2000.

The euphemism offered by departing staffers was they disagreed with Gingrich’s “strategy” for the campaign. Indeed, they did disagree. But it was a strategy – a part-time campaign, in effect – that Gingrich’s wife favored.

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