Reagan’s Biographer on Obama as a Closer
One voice I didn’t get a chance to include in my piece today examining Obama’s ability to "close" the deal and simply take control of the election from Sen. John McCain was Reagan biographer Lou Cannon. In the course of our conversation, Cannon, who’s written numerous books on the Gipper brought up a couple things that separated Obama in 2008 from Reagan in 1980.
"I actually think there’s quite a bit of difference," Cannon told me from his home in Southern California. "One is Reagan was a known commodity by 1980. That doesn’t mean people liked him, but he was no longer an oddity. He wasn’t a fresh face in the same way Sen. Obama is a fresh face He’d been governor of California for two terms. He’d run for president briefly in 1968 and extensively in 1976. And another important difference between he and Reagan was that Reagan was running against Carter and Obama isn’t running against George Bush. If he were, right now we’d probably be talking about who Obama’s cabinet would be."