What Obama Can Learn From Reagan

Posted: Feb 07, 2009 6:28 PM

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/President_Reagan_giving_speech_on_the_Centennial_of_the_Statue_of_Liberty,_Governor%27s_Island,_New_York,_1986.jpg/250px-President_Reagan_giving_speech_on_the_Centennial_of_the_Statue_of_Liberty,_Governor%27s_Island,_New_York,_1986.jpgAs Amanda noted, in his weekly address, Barack Obama is reminding us once again that he won -- and that he has political capital:

"That was, after all, what last November's election was all about," he said.

Like George W. Bush in '04, Obama is making a huge mistake in believing he has a mandate to use his "political capital."

Ronald Reagan's team understood very keenly what winning an election meant. Obama would do well to study this humble document put together by Reagan's team in 1980:

"The election was not a bestowal of political power, but a stewardship opportunity for the Reagan administration to reconsider and restructure the political agenda for the next decade. The win coalitions of the Reagan campaign may well have sanctioned the search for a new public philosophy to govern the United States."