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Posts Tagged ‘Reagan-Palin Month’

Gallup: Americans Say Ronald Reagan Is the Greatest U.S. President

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 21, 2011

By Gary P Jackson

Confirming what we have always known, the latest Gallup polling says Americans feel that Ronald Reagan was our nation’s greatest President.

PRINCETON, NJ — Ahead of Presidents Day 2011, Americans are most likely to say Ronald Reagan was the nation’s greatest president — slightly ahead of Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton. Reagan, Lincoln, or John F. Kennedy has been at the top of this “greatest president” list each time this question has been asked in eight surveys over the last 12 years.

Presidents Day, celebrated on the third Monday of February each year, officially commemorates the Feb. 22 birthday of George Washington. The country’s first president is not regarded by Americans as the nation’s greatest president, however. Gallup’s Feb. 2-5 update shows that Washington comes in fifth on the list, behind Reagan, Lincoln, Clinton, and Kennedy.

In the eight times Gallup has asked this same “greatest president” question over the last 12 years, one of three presidents — Lincoln, Reagan, and Kennedy — has topped the list each time. Reagan was the top vote getter in 2001, 2005, and now 2011. Lincoln won in 1999, in two 2003 surveys, and in 2007. Kennedy was on top in 2000, and tied with Lincoln in November 2003.

You can read the complete poll results here.

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Tammy Bruce: Hey World, What A Steel Fist in a Velvet Glove Looks Like

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 7, 2011

Photo credit: (c) Jensen Sutta

By Gary P Jackson

From Tammy Bruce:

Liberals, Islamists and Globalists take note: She’ll always look this good, even when ruining your plans. So enjoy having a Dumb Bastard in the White House while you can, because the Mayans were right–your world is coming to an end in 2012. Have a Happy Sunday, I certainly am!


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Sarah Palin Walks The Paths And Rides The Trails Of Ronald Reagan

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 7, 2011

Photo credit: Jensen Sutta

By Gary P Jackson

When Sarah Palin gave her wonderful speech in tribute of Ronald Reagan, she spoke of visiting Rancho del Cielo ….  the Ranch in the Heavens …. and how she was moved by being there. How it felt to walk the paths Ronnie had cleared with his own hands. She spoke of riding the trails on horseback, just as the Gipper had done in his day. She even gave Bristol a little jazz for not being the best of riders!

As she spoke of this, you could tell the experience moved her greatly. You could picture her standing there contemplating her political hero and just soaking up the spirit that lives on that magnificent ranch.

Well, leave it to the New York Times to try and rain on that parade!

In response, Andrew Coffin at Big Government sets the record straight not only with magnificent words but the beautiful photography of Jensen Sutta:

Young America’s Foundation hosted Governor Sarah Palin for the keynote address at the opening banquet of our Reagan 100 weekend. This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. Celebrations are taking place across the country, but this is a particularly significant weekend for our organization—since the spring of 1998 we’ve been preserving Ronald Reagan’s beloved Ranch home in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, Rancho del Cielo. Today Ronald Reagan’s Western White House is a place where young people come to be inspired by the life, the ideas, the character of Ronald Reagan.

And Governor Palin visited the Ranch for exactly the same reason.

The Governor gave a powerful speech at our banquet last night, before an enthusiastic overflow audience. She eloquently and gracefully paid tribute to one of the most significant speeches in American history, Ronald Reagan’s “Time for Choosing” address—while at the same time outlining a vision for America that builds upon President Reagan’s.

The speech was universally well received by our audience of all ages.

Governor Palin has a remarkable effect on people. For many conservatives, she’s a rock star. When the Governor walks into a room, normally even-keeled and good-natured people tend to forget their surroundings and rush towards her—to give her hug, to tell her how grateful they are for her courage, to tell her specifically how she has touched their lives. Event planning requires adherence to a basic schedule. At a minimum, you have to make it possible for your speaker to take the stage, in the “friendly confines” of tightly-packed and small room. Not an easy task with a superstar like Sarah Palin but our team sought to make the event run smoothly.

Forget the minutia of event planning, though. The Times account is simply not accurate. Here’s the amazing thing about yesterday’s events: they were as much about Gov. Palin coming to Santa Barbara to soak up the spirit of Ronald Reagan as they were about her delivering a keynote address. And on top of that, she was incredibly gracious with her time.

Our day with Governor Palin actually started much earlier than her arrival at the Reagan Ranch Center. We first greeted Governor Palin when she arrived at the Reagan Ranch itself, family in tow. Joined by Bristol, Willow, Trig, and grandson Tripp, the Governor visited Ronald Reagan’s favorite retreat for the sole purpose of walking in his footsteps, to better understand what motivated and inspired this great man. We had to ask her to let us chronicle the event in photos and video, to which she reluctantly agreed.

Governor Palin and her family spent hours at the Ranch on Friday. She met with Young America’s Foundation president Ron Robinson and Vice President Kate Obenshain. She heard personal accounts of the President’s life at Rancho del Cielo—the Ranch in the heavens—from trusted Reagan friend and confident Dennis LeBlanc and former Secret Service agent John Barletta. After touring the grounds, Governor Palin even mounted a horse—confident in the saddle—and road the very same trails the President loved with Agent Barletta. She had asked if it would be possible to ride, wanting to experience the Ranch as Ronald Reagan did.

Though it was clear the Governor enjoyed the experience, it was also clear that this was not just for her—this was an opportunity for her to share the life of her hero with her family. It was a way for her to impart her values, those she shares with Ronald Reagan, with Bristol, Willow, Trig, and Tripp, just as our organization does for hundreds of young people every year as they visit and are inspired by their opportunity to “meet” Ronald Reagan at his Ranch.

There was a moment late in the day that really sticks with me. It had been a full day–there was so much for us to share and the Governor to take in. As the tour wound down, we stopped at one of the highest points on the Ranch, where a spectacular view opens up to the Santa Ynez Valley. The day was crystal clear, and our small group could look out over the rolling hills of ranchland and wine country framed by the peaks of a distant mountain range. I shared with the Governor something the president told Barbara Walters in an interview at Rancho del Cielo in 1981. Why does this remote property mean so much to you, Walters wondered? The president’s answer was simple: I suppose it’s the scriptural line, “I look to the hills from whence cometh my strength.” I understand it a little better when I’m up here.

We paused at this spot and Governor Palin walked a few feet away from the rest of the group, to take in more of this dramatic California Central Coast vista, and, I think, to reflect on the experiences she had at the Ranch that day.

Anyone who has visited Rancho del Cielo knows there is a remarkable simplicity to the property. It’s the thing that shocks most visitors now, as it did the world leaders who visited Reagan there. The president lived in a small, 1,800 square foot adobe with no central air or heat. He built much of the Ranch himself, including an impressive stretch of sturdy, telephone-pole fencing that surrounds the home site and pond. Everything about the Ranch reflects the great American, and, particularly, western ideals that Ronald Reagan cherished: hard work, responsibility, stewardship of the land, freedom, and opportunity.

It was clear on Friday that Governor Palin is a leader cut from the same cloth—it is these great western ideals, and the way they could be seen at the Ranch in small but telling details, that she viscerally connected with. And I have to admit, it was fun to see up close how genuine that connection was.

Governor Palin went out of the way in her speech to not lay claim to the mantle of Ronald Reagan. “Many people today are looking for the next Reagan. But he was one of a kind, and we won’t see his like again,” she said later in her speech, but it’s his principles and values to which we must lay claim.

Filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, director of several films on Ronald Reagan, was present throughout the Governor’s trip. “Throughout the day,” Steve told me, “whether it was Ranch hands, students, staff, or donors, it was obvious to me that Governor Palin was there not for herself but to give of herself. She epitomized the values she mentioned in her speech—those of duty and service she equated to our grandparents’ generation.

Read more of this beautiful accounting of Sarah and her family’s pilgrimage to Rancho del Cielo and see the gorgeous photos here.

You can read what that hacks at the Times wrote, as well.

There is only one Ronald Reagan. As Sarah gave her speech Friday night she reminded us that he was one of a kind, an American original. She also pointed out that Ronnie’s spirit lives on in millions of Americans throughout the land. His spirit lives in Sarah Palin as well. There is no other American more worthy of carrying on his legacy. Of continuing to fight for Freedom and Liberty.

She’s far too humble to seek that distinction, but it suits her nonetheless. As we look to the future, we must look to the leader who exhibits the same courage Reagan did in his day. The fearless woman with a steel spine who has vowed to never sit down and never shut up. I’d like to think that as Sarah walked the paths and rode the trails that Ronnie cleared with his own hands, he looked down and smiled knowing his legacy was in the best of hands.

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Video: Reagan Superbowl XLV Tribute

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 6, 2011

By Gary P Jackson

This wonderful tribute to “Dutch” Reagan will air just before the kickoff of tonight’s Superbowl game. It’s a moving tribute to our finest President, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

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C-span To Cover Sarah Palin’s Address At The Reagan Ranch 100th Birthday Celebration Live Tonight

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 4, 2011

By Gary P Jackson

Just a short note to let everyone know that C-span will carry Sarah’s Palin’s address from the Reagan Ranch live tonight at 11pm Eastern time. [8pm on the West Coast]

Above is a photo of one of the posters that will be everywhere at the ranch.

Sarah was chosen to speak because she most represents the values and ideals of our finest President, Ronald Reagan.

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Heritage Foundation: The Classical Virtues of Ronald Reagan

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 3, 2011

Here’s a great tribute from Dr Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation:

The Classical Virtues of Ronald Reagan

The best political leaders embody the classical virtues of courage, prudence, justice, and wisdom. President Ronald Reagan had all these qualities and in abundance.


When he was shot on March 30, 1981, President Reagan seemed to spend most of his time reassuring everyone that he was not seriously hurt, although the bullet had stopped only one inch from his heart and the doctors were very concerned about his substantial blood loss. As he was wheeled into the operating room, he noted the long faces of his three top aides—James Baker, Ed Meese, and Michael Deaver—standing in the hall and asked, “Who’s minding the store?” When a distraught Nancy Reagan made her way to him, he lightly said, “Honey, I forgot to duck.

Both conservative and liberal commentators lauded Reagan. “The president’s imperishable example of grace under pressure,” wrote George Will, “gave the nation a tonic it needed.” “Everybody knows,” wrote James Reston of The New York Times, “that people seldom act in the margin between life and death with such light-hearted valor as they do in the movies. Yet Ronald Reagan did.”

It also takes courage to challenge an enemy like the Soviet Union when the stakes are high. There was vehement Soviet opposition to his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), but the President did not budge. At the Reykjavik summit, when both sides were very close to a far-ranging agreement on nuclear weapons, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev pressed hard for laboratory testing only of SDI. Reagan refused. His steadfast commitment to SDI convinced the Kremlin that it could not win, or afford, a continuing arms race and led to an end of the Cold War at the bargaining table and not on the battlefield.


Rather than dispatching American combat troops to trouble spots, Reagan assisted pro-freedom anti-Communist forces in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, and Cambodia. National security analyst Peter Schweizer estimates that the cash-strapped Soviets spent $8 billion a year on counterinsurgency operations against U.S.-backed guerrillas. The accelerating Soviet losses in Afghanistan demoralized the Kremlin and the Red Army, hastening the collapse of the Soviet empire.

At home, Reagan practiced the politics of prudence by relying upon his “70 percent rule“: If he could get 70 percent of what he wanted in the face of opposition, he would take his chances on coming back and getting the other 30 percent later. He wanted his 25 percent tax cut to take effect immediately in 1981 but agreed to phase it in over three years because the cuts were across the board. He was that rare politician who knew when to bend a little and when to stand firm.


Although it was not politically correct, President Reagan steadfastly defended the rights of every American—from the moment of conception to that of natural death. For him the sanctity of life was not a slogan but a fundamental principle to be honored. When in 1983 he wrote “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation” (an essay for Human Life Review later published as a book), he became the first sitting President to write a book while in the White House.

His Administration sought not only to put America’s financial house in order and rebuild the nation’s defenses but also to put America’s moral house in order by protecting the unborn and allowing God back into the classroom.


President Reagan had the ability to foresee what others could not. In the early 1980s, liberal intellectuals such as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and John K. Galbraith were lauding the economic accomplishments of the Soviet Union. At the same time, Reagan told the British Parliament that a “global campaign for freedom” would prevail over the forces of tyranny and that “the Soviet Union itself is not immune to this reality.” By the end of the decade, as he predicted, Marxism–Leninism was dumped on the ash heap of history.

In late 1981 and all of 1982, when his tax cuts had not yet kicked in and the U.S. economy still lagged, President Reagan reassured his worried aides and counseled them to stay the course. He had faith in the American people, who, if they could be “liberated from the restraints imposed on them by government,” would pull “the country out of its tailspin.” In the closing days of 1982, America began the longest peacetime economic expansion in U.S. history up to that time, creating 17 million new jobs during the Reagan years.

Ronald Reagan’s trust in the people and his love of freedom were rooted in two documents—the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. From his very first national speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater’s presidential bid in October 1964 to his farewell address to the nation in January 1989, Reagan turned again and again to the wisdom of the Founders. Indeed, more than once, he sounded like one of them.

Reiterating the central role of the American Revolution, the President said: “Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words, ‘We the people.’

We tell the government what to do, he said; it doesn’t tell us. This simple and yet revolutionary idea of “We the people,” he explained, was the underlying basis for everything he had tried to do as President.

Classical Virtues

The President reassured the men and women of the “Reagan Revolution” that they had made a difference. They had made America—that “shining city on a hill“—stronger and freer and had left her in good hands.

The city never shone brighter than when it was led by Ronald Reagan, who exemplified the virtues of courage, prudence, justice, and wisdom.

Lee Edwards, Ph.D., is Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

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