Tags: shirley | reagan | gop

Author: Republicans Must Embrace Reaganism

Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009 08:24 PM

By Kathleen Walter

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As Republicans struggle to redefine the party and regain their conservative roots after the tumultuous Bush years, Craig Shirley is pressing the GOP to study President Ronald Reagan as it charts the party’s future course.

“This is not about simply Ronald Reagan-- the man, the inspirational person, the nice guy,” Shirley told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview. “This is about a man of utter stone granite convictions who had a view of the world, who had a view of government, who had a view of power, and a view of the American people and from those things—as with Jefferson or Lincoln--Americans should draw knowledge and inspiration.”

Speaking with Newsmax.TV’s Kathleen Walter about his newly published book, “Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America,” Shirley acknowledged that Republicans seemed confused over whether to claim the Reagan mantle. Shirley, an influential public relations, marketing and government affairs expert, believes it would be irresponsible for the party to ignore the president’s contributions and philosophies.

See Video: Craig Shirley talks about the Reagan Revolution and what it means today - Click Here Now

Special: New Bull: Warren Buffett Says You Must Read This Book -- Click Here Now.

“We don’t cast aside that which we can learn from which is the best of the past: men of vision, men of principles, men of ideas," Shirley said. "To (do) so, I think, is very narrow sighted."

In his book, Shirley puts to rest one of the great political mysteries: who stole Carter’s debate briefing books? It was Paul Corbin, an aide to Robert Kennedy and Kennedy follower who, in disgust after President Jimmy Carter defeated Senator Ted Kennedy in the Democratic primary, went to work for the Reagan campaign. Ultimately, the Reagan camp deemed the information the books contained as not being very useful.

The role of Reagan’s campaign manager William Casey was significant, said Shirley. Casey replaced John Sears in February of 1980 after Reagan’s upset over George H.W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary and when it was realized the campaign was loosing money badly.

“Casey immediately took over the campaign and set it financially to right, but he also brought in Ed Meese and Dick Worthman,” he said. “They were already a part of the campaign, but he brought them into closer management relations with the campaign.”

Shirley also reveals that the Kennedy family had a long memory on Election Day.

“The Kennedy family felt that the Carter campaign was too savage, too personal and was too brutal toward their beloved Kennedy,” said Shirley. “So, when it came time for the election, virtually all of them voted for Ronald Reagan.”

The lone exceptions, said Shirley, were Jackie Onassis who voted for third party candidate John Anderson, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, whose three-year-old daughter, Megan, pulled the polling lever for her so Kathleen could technically say she herself never voted for Carter.

Though President Barack Obama expressed admiration for Reagan last January, Shirley says Obama is no Reagan.

“I think the revolution he has in mind is not the revolution Reagan had in mind. Obama has a fundamental belief in government whereas Reagan—when he ran in 1980 and all through his career as president—had a fundamental belief in the American people."

See Video: Craig Shirley talks about the Reagan Revolution and what it means today - Click Here Now

[Editor’s Note: Get Craig Shirley’s book, "Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America" — Go here now.]

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