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Sweet: Obama's mention of Ronald Reagan roils rivals. Why not Obama Republicans to check Reagan Democrats: Wexler

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LAS VEGAS, NV.—Barack Obama is taking flak on Friday from rivals Hillary Clinton and to a lesser degree John Edwards for invoking the name of Ronald Reagan during a session with the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board.

“I think Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think it’s fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10 to 15 years in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom,’’ Obama told the paper.

As the Clinton camp started throwing stones at Obama for suggesting that the Republican party was “the party of ideas,” the Obama team pushed back, in another day of back to back conference calls from the campaigns as they deal with a string of tit-for-tats.

An early Obama supporter, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fl.) said in a conference call that Obama will enlarge the Democratic tent, just as Reagan did for his party.

“We need to increase the size of the tent of the Democratic party,” Wexler said. “…Much of what Reagan did Obama disagrees (with).

“What Ronald Reagan did do and we still talk about is create Reagan Democrats and what Sen. Obama is creating are Obama Republicans and Obama independents and the criticism that is offered by the Clinton camp is both short sighted and is foolish. Of course we Democrats want a nominee that can attract the greatest group of people to the Democratic party.”

Wexler added, the Clinton criticism “undermines, I believe, any type of unity that we as Democrats could create as they continue this kind of criticism.”

1 Comment

Waxman: Kudos on your comments. makes good sense.

And kudos to Lynn Sweet for putting up at least a few threads that don't seem to favor one candidate over the other!

Sorry for the prior comments on Barack's fundraiser, but like so many other here, I felt it was a "so what" story. *shrugs shoulders*

Far as Nevada - Watching all of the media coverage today on CNN and MSNBC, they are almost certain that HRC will pull off another win in Nevada tomorrow night. The polls favor her by 9 points, and they feel she'll win by roping in the Hispanic vote by 3 to 1.

She's last on my list of choices, so I hope it doesn't turn out that way, but I fear it will.

Obama winning a western state would be huge. What would also be nice is to see Senator Edwards pull off a major upset; giving each of the candidates 3 wins a piece to date.

Lynn, if you do swing in and read a few of the comments here, I have a question that I've been asking everyone - and no one (so far) can recall the answer.

In the '04 election where Kerry won Iowa, did the Democratic party go on to have debates before each of the next contests like they're doing this year? (Actually, did the Republican Party do the same thing as they're also doing this year with inserting debates between elections?)

Seems to me that after Kerry's IA win, he shot up to the Democrat frontrunner and there was no turning back from there. Was it because of a shorter timeframe? Because there were no debates?

If this campaign season is different in that way, it would be really interesting for a journalist to write about how debates were interjected between major contests, and what, if any potential difference it had made.

Thank you Lynn.

PFC jake jensen. Happy TGIF!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 18, 2008 4:50 PM.

Sweet column: Clinton hunting for Illinois votes. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Clinton pollster Mark Penn Nevada memo. A lowering expectations in Nevada pre-emptive is the next entry in this blog.

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