Friday, March 30, 2012

Is President Obama consulting the Pat Brown electoral playbook?

Drummond, R. (1966, July 12). Can Reagan beat Pat Brown? Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved from,3491894&dq=ronald+reagan&hl=en

In this even-handed piece, Roscoe Drummond opines that anyone purporting to predict the outcome of the 1966 California Governor’s race is either a fool or a liar.  Drummond held that both Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan would have serious hurdles to overcome in winning the general election.  

In Reagan’s case, Drummond repeated the frequently-heard (even today) complaint that Reagan had heretofore spoken “largely in attractive generalities.”  I’m skeptical, however, that the reality of the Reagan campaign was quite as vanilla as Drummond makes it sound. 

(I’ve read numerous books and articles over the years which emphasized Reagan’s use of town-hall style Q&A sessions in his primary campaign.  Indeed, Reagan himself contended that it was the citizens of California who kept bringing up the issue of student unrest at Berkeley—an issue which, even today, some contend Reagan inflamed for the purpose of winning the election.)

In any event, Drummond concluded:
[Reagan’s] potential supporters  may not feel they must agree with him on everything, but they will want a fuller disclosure of his convictions and his capacity to deal with the burgeoning problems of [California]
With regards to Governor Brown, Drummond candidly admitted the incumbent was vulnerable, in part, “because many feel that his administration has become weary and self-righteous.”  

Well…let’s just be thankful that we don’t have any Democrats like that running for re-election today.

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