Tag Archives: Reagan

A Bolshevik and a Dinosaur

It was impossible not to wonder what was going through the mind of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as he joined the throngs in Berlin this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Two Americans that have long been close to Gorbachev are Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian studies […]

Tear Down This Wall

The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has prompted a number of articles and reflections about President Reagan’s historic 1987 speech.  Needless to say, Clark is the true expert on the issue — but I wanted to link Tony Dolan’s recent piece from the Wall Street Journal, reminiscing about the speechwriters’ full […]

Who Is This Guy III

Mark offers the contours of a fascinating chapter in presidential speechwriting history.  But where Mark was diplomatic and restrained, I’m going for the big reveal, and assuming that the story to which he alludes is Peter Robinson’s experience writing President Reagan’s celebrated remarks in Berlin — “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Here’s Peter’s article […]

Tactless in America?

By Max Atkinson, Guest Contributor The point I was making that Clark Judge has responded to was not that the UK had a better or older version of democracy than the USA, but that American claims to democratic superiority come across as a bit tactless to some of its closest allies. His suggestion that it […]

Answering a British Critic

Last week, a distinguished British blogger took issue with a January 19th posting in which I said that, “Inaugural addresses invariably remind us of America’s historically unmatched commitment to popular sovereignty and individual liberty…”  I’d like to respond. The blogger was Max Atkinson and his challenge is here. As he wrote: My point is not […]

Where Were the Memorable Phrases?

At the risk of talking ancient history, I want to return to Tuesday’s inaugural address and dispute a criticism of it, or more accurately, dispute the criticism’s relevance in assessing the speech’s quality —the criticism that it included no memorable phrases. Can you think of any memorable phrase coming from President Obama in his two […]

A Leader For Us All

In his inaugural address, President Obama spoke with force and depth – and went far to confirm himself as more than the winner of an election, but as the leader of the entire country. In broad strokes he did what every president does in his first speech on entering office: He reaffirmed the American experience […]

Box Seats for Sully?

In the wake of Thursday’s US Airways near-disaster on the Hudson River, and the heroic actions of the pilot and crew in keeping all the passengers alive, some have suggested that the event – or at least its main players – might find a place in Tuesday’s inaugural address. Perhaps, but I think it would […]

A Great Day To Be An American

It sure would have been nice to see a Ford among all those Buick dealers, not to mention a Reagan. But your sentiment about the historic change represented here is one we all deeply share. It brought to mind the graphic above that somebody created shortly after Election Day. Talk about dramatic. Also, not a […]

The Inaugural: Obama’s Balancing Act

In a State of the Union address the president can set out the details of his new federal policy on widgets and waterworks. In the Inaugural Address, however, Barack Obama will need to be as much of a poet as his friend, Elizabeth Alexander, a prize-winning poet who will read the celebratory poem. The new […]

Presidential Rhetoric: Kennedy vs. Reagan

Anne Applebaum makes some good points in her op-ed today on the similarity in Presidential rhetoric across time and parties. I can’t help but feel, however, that when she compares conservative hero Ronald Regan to liberal icon John Kennedy, Reagan comes off by far the best. Both gave moving speeches at the Berlin Wall, but […]