Just want to say that I agree with Alfonse D’Amato. Time to say goodbye to Cheney. Bush needed his experience on the ticket in 2000. He doesn’t need it now.
An old friend from high school (we were in high school together from 82-86) asked the other day what I thought about Reagan dying, saying “I remember you liked him in high school.” His question struck me in two ways:
1. I hadn’t really given much of my own thought to Reagan’s death since it happened. I’ve just been listening and watching some of the coverage when I can, but not really doing any of my own thinking on everything.
2. I don’t remember specifically liking Reagan in high school. Well, I know I liked him — the family was conservative, after all. But I don’t remember ever being so open about it that a high school friend would know that. My high school memories are not of any political discussions with friends, even though I went to a brainiac prep school where that kind of discussion would’ve been very much part and parcel of the education.
Well, having been prompted to do some thinking on Reagan, of course I remember liking him. The reasons are nothing new. I loved the way he talked to us. He could spin a story like no politician I’d seen in my young life. I loved the message. I remember the day he spoke at Pepperdine — to this day, one of my favorite days of college life. He was out of office by this time, and they showed a 10-15 minute video about him and his presidency, and it had most of us in tears, bawling.
Going back a little further, though, puts the Reagan years into perspective for me. I was too young to know or remember much of anything about Nixon and Ford. Jimmy Carter was the first president I was ever aware of as I grew up. The Iran hostage debacle was pretty much my first ‘real-life’ political memory. I knew I didn’t like Carter because he was weak, and he was depressing.
Then along comes Reagan, with his million-dollar smile and great stories to tell, and a vision of strength and direction and, most importantly, PRIDE and OPTIMISM. He had a cheesy, but honest, faith in America and in Americans. He made me proud to be American. He made me realize and understand that I was fortunate to be living in the greatest country on the planet. He was optimistic. He had a plan, and he stuck to it. He made mistakes; he accepted responsibility for them. He was human. He said things he maybe shouldn’t have said, but he said them because he knew he had to. He dealt from a position of strength. I admired all of that. And now that I’ve been prompted to think back … I still do.