I’ve already made comparisons between Obama and JFK, then Obama and Bush. But Ron Reagan Jr.’s Obama endorsement makes me thing that perhaps the best comparison is between Obama and Reagan. Check the 1984 Reagan classic “Morning Again in America”
Then check the visual iconography of Signs of Hope and Change (one of the best political videos I’ve ever seen)
Similarities run deep: both use good communication as both a tool and a selling point for themselves as candidates, both have been able to use media to rhetorically outflank their opponents. The other key comparison is in the type of ideological shifts both initiated. Reagan was the king of good stories and the earnest look – he used these tools to set new ideological co-ordinates for understanding government and America’s role in the world. The welfare queen was a thing of myth, but she existed vividly in the public mind because of Ron’s good stories; and those stories served as the basis of how people understood government spending during the Reagan years. Obama is doing some of the same types of things with new defenses of government spending to support job creation, and a re-assessment of how government tax cuts should work. Reagan was wildly effective at starting a rich vs. poor class war, it remains to be seen if Obama can incite anything comparable in the opposite direction.