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A comparison between the leadership of the american presidents richard nixon and ronald reagan

Facebook 0 Twitter 0 livefyre Email Print Over the past two weeks, there has been incessant chatter about the parallels between the presidencies of Barack Obama and Ronald Reaganand with good reason: On the face of it, the comparisons are easy to understand. Like Reagan, Obama is a skillful communicator adept at inspiring audiences and evoking stirring imagery with his words.

Reagan and Obama -- The Big Difference Between These Two Presidents

And like Reagan, President Obama seems to be affixed with a permanently sunny disposition that only rarely crests from his countenance. And of course, both came to office during difficult and anxious times. Reagan was greeted by double digit inflation, unemployment, and interest rates — a trifecta of calamities. It was widely regarded as the worst economy since the Great Depressiona phrase that has particular resonance with President Obama, too.

At the heard of the matter, what defined Ronald Reagan most was the resoluteness of his convictions and fidelity to those ideas. He came to the office with a few major goals — to strengthen the economy, restore pride in the military, meet communism head-on, and roll back the influence of government — from which he never wavered. He compromised on occasion, knowing full well that 70 percent of something was better than 100 percent of nothing, but never retreated from the central tenets of his governing philosophy.

That was simply out of the question.

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Reagan took pride in the fact that his world view could be squeezed onto an index card. He understood — intuitively — that the presidency is essentially a narrative — an arc with a beginning, middle and end— that was built to hold but a few story-lines at a time, a notion that seems to be lost on President Obama. He resisted the temptation — all too common among office holders — to become everything to everybody.

If it meant alienating some constituencies or ruffling a few feathers, so be it.

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He never mistook popularity for posterity. President Obama has governed a bit differently, at least through his first two years in office.

Compare President Reagan and President Nixon’s terms in office.

One would be hard pressed to discern a narrative or arc to his presidency, other than the constant vigilance to stave off an economic apocalypse. A noble cause, to be sure — and one that even his harshest critics would have to concede has been successful — but one born of necessity, not philosophy.

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Even health care reform — his signature accomplishment to date — struck a slightly discordant note with his campaign theme, which hardly put an emphasis on universal health care. Nick Ragone is the author of four books, including his most recent, "Presidential Leadership: Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in Washington, D. He is the author of four books: