‘Lefty’ Obama signs Reagan tribute as Nancy looks on

June 2, 2009

nancy21Nancy Reagan, radiant in a red pantsuit, rested her hand on President Barack Obama’s shoulder as he signed a bill to honor her late husband and icon of the right Ronald Reagan.

Obama, as is usual, signed with his left hand.

“Oh, you’re a lefty,” Reagan said, to scattered chuckles in the room.

“I am a lefty,” Obama replied evenly, adding: “Well, I think that President Reagan’s signature was more legible than mine.”

The bill creates a panel to plan and carry out events to honor Reagan’s 100th birthday in 2011. He died in 2004.

Obama slowly escorted the 87-year-old Reagan into the White House Diplomatic Room for the ceremony, as she clutched onto his arm and walked with a cane.

His remarks were almost Reaganesque.

“President Reagan helped as much as any president to restore a sense of optimism in our country, a spirit that transcended politics — that transcended even the most heated arguments of the day,” Obama said.

But Obama also praised Nancy Reagan for helping to draw attention to Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicted her husband before his death.

“In saying a long goodbye, Nancy Reagan became a voice on behalf of millions of families experiencing the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s disease,” Obama said.

Nancy Reagan recently told Vanity Fair magazine she was a little miffed to miss an earlier White House event on stem cell research, one of her causes.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (President Obama clasps former first lady Nancy Reagan’s hand after he signed Ronald Reagan tribute bill)

12 comments

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Does ex-Pres-Reagan need recognition, absolutely certain he does, this class-D actor was the ‘Father’ of the Supply-Side (Trickle Down) scheme that began the demise of America in Debt.
Reagan began with a Nat’l-Debt of $941-Billion, and as if by magic at the end of his term converted it to $2.7-Trillion, the only fool to better him was Geo W Bush and this speaks volumns about who these fools worked for.
What else can you say about Reagan, well he removed Iraq in 1980s from US “Terrorist Supporting Nation” embargo so that Western-Regimes could legally sell WMD to Saddam.
Reagan vetoed the Congress Embargo on South Africa Apartheid, he sold High-Teck military hardware to Irans Khomeini (Islamic-cleric) in 1980 while the nation was under Congressional Embargo… and this is only starters.. throw the entire book at him.
http://rtpricetag.home.comcast.net/~rtpr icetag/Trickle.html

A “lefty” just like UBL – both are thinking in their “right” mind.

Posted by humbaba | Report as abusive

I love how people standing in the liberal aisle take great pleasure at slamming Ronald and Nancy Reagan. President Reagan was a master at compromise. While some of his policies were obviously flawed I find it difficult to portray Ronald Reagan as some rabid, religious, conservative nut bag. Ronald Reagan loved this country. Perhaps his view of the United States was a bit romanticized but he served this country well at a very dark time in our history.

Regardless of political persuasion, I am amazed at the lack of respect afforded to Nancy Reagan. Ronald and Nancy Reagan continue to be role models for married couples — gay or straight. I am a disenfranchised Republican who supports Barack Obama. And, like it or not, Liberal Lefties, Barack Obama is more like Ronald Reagan than Bill Clinton. As Reagan was the leader for a difficult period, Barack Obama is the leader we need today.

Members of Congress, especially Democrats, would do well to follow Barack Obama’s lead rather than place stumbling blocks in his wake. But like Republicans, Democrats will squander the opportunity they have at hand. Neither party has the ultimate antidote to our nation’s woes. Ronald Reagan consistently attempted to bridge the political divide in Washington. Barack Obama is the first President since Reagan to do the same. If there were an ultimate political “enemy” it would have to be every lobbyist or K Street employee who works the hallowed halls of Congress. These people have more influence with members of Congress than their constituents. It’s time for the electorate to band together and march on the Capitol to demand accountability from each member of Congress. Perhaaps they should be held in conclave like Cardinals electing a Pope. Lock them up under the Dome until they finally do right by the American people. And if they fail? KICK THE BUMS OUT regardless of party affiliation!

We never heard Ronald Reagan apologize for America. He stood tall and proud FOR America. President Obama shames us by apologizing for us to our enemies. Remember that almost half of Americans voted against him. NEXT time, we will be in the majority and he will be a one term president. I only hope we can repair the damage he will do to our economy, health care system, international reputation, and anything else he is able to change.

Posted by Texas Joe | Report as abusive

By today’s radical conservative standards, Reagan was a liberal. Federal government expanded on his watch. The religious right’s crusade to outlaw abortion was never seriously pursued. Reagan broke with the military-industrial capitalists in his administration and compromised with the Soviets on arms control. He saved Social Security in 1983. And he repeatedly ignored the fundamental conservative dogma that taxes should never be raised.

All of this has fallen under the selective amnesia of conservative’s idea of Reagan. Much like President Obama, Reagan made political compromises as all presidents do once in office, and on many occasions did so willingly. In fact, many of his actions as president wound up achieveing liberal objectives. Conservatives’ attempts to rewrite history ignore the fact that beyond his conservative legacy, Ronald Reagan left a liberal one.

Reagan may have been a tool of conservative idealogues, but no one can say he did not truly love his country. Nancy may have been his second wife, but a better example of true love and commitment will be hard to find anywhere. We should all look beyond politics and respect that.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Hi, Texas Joe.

You’re right, Reagan never did apologize for getting into bed with drug dealers because he ran out of legal options for funding the overthrow of an honestly elected Nicaraguan government.

He never did apologize for blind free-market ideology turning into trillion-dollar deficits, the freakshow of the savings and loan crisis and crippled public schools.

Sooner or later, when reality intrudes on the flag-waving fantasy so many of your generation worked to imagine; when the luxury of rhetorical hot air about “enemies” and “freedom fighters” is taken away from you, that shame that you say you feel is just going to get worse.

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

Oh, for heavens sake, Texas Joe! 42% is not almost half!
And that’s nonsense about “standing tall”! The person who apologizes gains far more respect than some stubborn fool that insists on defending indefensible, evil things! Our country is not perfect, no country is! We should be proud of some of the things we’ve done, and apologize for the things that we’ve done that are evil or stupid. Reagan had his good points, but really, arming Saddam Hussein, providing him with weapons of mass destruction to attack Iran, while selling weapons to Iran to support the “contras” in El Salvador: none of these were good things. They were awful things. You’ve got to know when to say you goofed!

Posted by Missionary Doc | Report as abusive

Texas Joe. You are right on so don’t listen to the critics who think Obama is like Ronald Reagan. He is not, not even close.

Our day of reckoning is coming. Obama has spent more money in the first 5 months in office than in the history of our country. When are his defenders going to recognize this is his baby and he will be the blame when it all comes tumbling down. Can’t blame anyone else for his mess.

Reagan inherited an economy with exorbitant interest rates with the country in a “malaise” (Carter description). Reagan forced the Russians to finally end the cold war (I know it actually occurred under GW Bush). He strengthened and gave the country the strongest economy for the next 20 years. He made Americans proud to be Americans and the world respected us. When Reagan was president, no one messed with us.

Anyone who thinks we should blindly follow Obama needs their head examined. No one deserves that kind of respect, particularly someone who hasn’t earned that respect and isn’t earning it now. I wonder how many people will support him when interest rates are over 30 percent and unemployment is over 10 percent. He is doing nothing to solve any problem.

The election was 52 to 48 percent, so Texas Joe was right when he said nearly half the country did not vote for Obama.

Reagan deserves the accolades Obama signed yesterday. He is a positive role model for all presidents past and present, as well as for all Americans and the world.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

True, 52/48% is close to 50/50, but Obama won well over 300 electoral votes and his popular margin was larger than George Bush ever dreamed of, even with his Supreme Court assisted “win” in 2000 where he won a half million fewer votes than Al Gore. And Obama has a greater margin in Congress than any of the three presidents before him. If that all isn’t a mandate I don’t know what is.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Boris. The electoral votes are not relevant to the discussion. Voters are real people and the real people voted 52 to 48 percent. So the country is not as enamored as you want to believe by Obama. I just wish the media would actually report the news rather than to always cover for his actual policies. Obama and his drunken spending will cause a hangover this country live with for a long long time.

You always need to bring up Bush as though that is relevant. It is not. But since you brought it up, Bush did win the election. He won in full recounts again and again in Florida. It was not the Supreme Court that put him in office, it was the voters and he won. Even Al Gore knew he lost, but went for it anyway. I don’t blame him, but he knew he lost too. Read his book sometime.

As for the mandate, I truly believe you are wrong. There is no mandate for the kind of change Obama and the progressive liberals are forcing on us. Poll after Poll, shows the American people want less government and lower taxes. They want deficit/debt reduction rather than health care. The people clearly do not want cap and trade. And the list goes on. But Obama is arrogant, he doesn’t listen and continues to spend, spend, spend. It will come back to hurt us dearly, but you don’t care, you don’t care at all.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Check your Constitution; the electoral votes are what determine who sits in the White House (absent Supreme Court meddling). If electoral votes were not relevant, then Gore would have won the presidency in 2000 and we’d not be stuck in Iraq now. If e.g. the GOP hadn’t been funding Nader, if the butterfly ballots had been designed in such a way as to not permit overvoting, if Buchanan had not been on the ballot in Florida, if the five conservative members of the Supreme Court had not granted cert, if any of these things were true, we’d not have squandered six years, 4200 some American lives, over $1 trillion in Iraq. You’re right in a way; the country now is not 52% for Obama, it’s more than that for Obama according to polls. Re: drunken spending, where were you when Dubya went on his spending spree in Iraq long after it became apparent even to him there were no WMD there? “But Obama is arrogant, he doesn’t listen and continues to spend, spend, spend. It will come back to hurt us dearly.” Again you’re part right; just substitute “Bush” for “Obama” and you’ll be bang on. So I hope you’re happy with the results of the last eight years because you asked for them, not me.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

1. I fully understand that President Obama won by a landslide of electoral votes. But the fact that he won in the states with larger numbers of electors does not make his election a popular mandate.
2. I still resent President Obama’s apologies to our enemies. I resent his characterization of America as a Muslim country. Look at that coin in your pocket- does it say, “In Allah we trust?” Furthermore, his pandering is not working. The terrorists who hate us are laughing at him.
3. The dictators he is patronizing are allowing him to look foolish and then carrying on the same anti-US policies. I read this morning that Hugo Chavez laughingly warned his fellow despot, Fidel Castro that if they weren’t careful, they would end up being to the right of President Obama!
4. I do NOT want the US Government to run healthcare. I do NOT want the US Government to run large companies such as GM. I do NOT think we need to reform this country. True, not all is right with America, and many things need fixing. But socialism is UNAMERICAN, and I will fight it as long as I am able.

Posted by Texas Joe | Report as abusive