Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Reagan’

Classic Bert Case in 1976 Reagan Visit

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, Wilson Stribling at WLBT posted this August 4, 1976 newscast featuring a visit by Governor Ronald Reagan and his running mate Senator Richard Schweiker during the 1976 GOP Primary. WLBT assigned four reporters to cover the story which consumed about a third of the night’s broadcast.

Reagan was attempting to calm delegates concerned about his choice as a running mate and lock up delegates to the 1976 Republican National Convention in his challenge against incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford.

The whole video is enjoyable, even the commercials. But it also has some classic Bert Case commentary:

WLBT’s Bert Case: Any particular significance to the fact that he [Schweiker] was put in the Delta Airlines Freight Terminal where I understand the air conditioner is not even working properly for the hour wait for Governor Reagan?

Billy Mounter: Some people might consider him to be excess baggage, but I don’t think that is proper.

Bert Case: So the cool Pennsylvania liberal met a red hot Reagan backer who was Luke-warm to him in a hot freight terminal office before fielding some sizzling questions from conservative Mississippi Republicans.

Thanks to Wilson Stribling for sharing this with everyone.

Quick thoughts on Reagan and Cochran

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Yesterday, the new communications director for the Chris McDaniel campaign for U.S. Senate tweeted, “one wonders if so-called “big tent” republicans grasp the irony of attacking fellow republicans for working to build Ronald Reagan’s party.”

I’m not sure what that tweet was in reference to, but it elicited this response from @Sipconservative: “Reagan was a Thad supporter/friend. Might want to learn a little more about MS politics before spewing tea party stock lines”

I thought the following was worth adding to the conversation, but it requires more space than Twitter allows.

In October of 1984, President Ronald Reagan spoke in Gulfport at a reelection rally.  He thanked Thad Cochran saying:

“Now, we couldn’t have accomplished half of what we did without a Republican majority in the Senate, and Thad Cochran is in the first rank of that majority, and that’s why he’s there. He and some other stalwarts are battling against those who are still out for the old-fashioned idea of spending your money faster than you can send it in.”

This is proof of one thing: Ronald Reagan must have been a RINO! After all, he was a former Democrat.

Here is a photo of President Reagan, Senator Cochran and Senator Howard Baker from that year, but not at that event.

President Reagan spoke at a Mississippi Republican Party fundraising dinner in June of 1983 and thanked Senator Cochran, Lott and Congressman Webb Franklin “for the courage they’ve shown in tackling what seemed like overwhelming problems just two and a half years ago.” Here is a photo from that event:

Senator Cochran has served Mississippi from the early days of the Republican Party. The Mississippi Republican Party headquarters is jointly named to honor him and former Senator Trent Lott. He helped build the GOP in Mississippi and has worked with Republican giants like President Reagan. Today, many conservatives look back in awe of Reagan; Cochran knew the man and worked with him to create good policy for our country.

Reagan’s 100th

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

I only saw Ronald Reagan in person once. It was an event for Republican U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton in 1986 in Alabama.  Denton, a former Vietnam POW and retired Navy Admiral, had become the first Republican Senator elected from Alabama since Reconstruction in 1980. He had become a strong ally in the Senate for Reagan’s foreign policy agenda as we fought the Cold War against Communism around the world. But 1986 was a bad year for Republicans, Denton lost to Democratic Congressman Richard Shelby. Of the more than 1.2 million votes cast, the margin of difference was fewer than 7000 votes.  Shelby became a Republican himself in 1994 and continues to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

On that day in 1986, I was eleven years old and I recall the civic center packed full with thousands of people and very far away down on the floor, a man walked out on the stage with his hand in the air to thunderous cheers and applause. He was the third President during my life time but the only one of which I had any real awareness. I viewed him as a serious man determined to protect America and willing to give the dangerous orders to do so.  Just months before, he had ordered Operation El Dorado Canyon - airstrikes against targets in Libya in response to a bombing in West Berlin that killed two American servicemen carried out by Libyan agents in East Germany.

I remember thinking as President Reagan spoke to the crowd that I would always remember it.  The image in my mind is as clear as a photograph. I never saw him again in person. On June 9, 2005 I watched an honor guard carry his casket into the U.S. Capitol and later, along with thousands of others, paid my respect while he was lying in state. But he had been gone for some time in that long goodbye of Alzheimer’s disease. I remember an interview with Michael Reagan - Ronald’s adopted son - some years ago when Michael was asked if his father still recognized him. Michael said his father didn’t know who he was, but he did know he was the person who came to give him hugs.

As America celebrates this occasion in articles, tributes from friends, online posts, and television news specials, there is nothing more I can add.  His speeches of American optimism, his policies of American conservatism, his actions of American exceptionalism are etched into our history and the spirit of a generation. We recognize today as the 100th anniversary of his birth, but he long ago gave us the birthday gift of his leadership and that legacy continues to grow in value over time.

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