Lyndon Johnson is not a comfortable model for President Obama to imitate. He is an all-but-forgotten president – pilloried for the failed war in Vietnam and criticized for grandiose reforms conservatives denounce as the epitome of federal social engineering that costs too much and does too little.
Reagan grows up in 1920s Dixon, Illinois, and it’s the heartland of America. It’s a time when Americans are particularly drawn to this small town world because it’s beginning to pass.
Access to presidential materials should be as wide as possible.
Vice President Biden’s surprising declaration of unqualified support for gay marriage seems to have forced President Obama into a public endorsement of a controversial social issue. It is difficult not to suspect that Biden’s pronouncement aimed to give the president some political cover.
Henry Kissinger never wanted the 20,000 pages of his telephone transcripts made public – not while he was alive, at any rate.
Coming out of WWII, there was the assumption, the hope, the vision of a world at peace, of a kind of Wilsonian universalism, that we and the Soviets would get along, we’d have a kind of lovefest for as far into the future as anyone could see.
President Obama can talk about having no grand schemes and making no big gains, but the reality is he can’t get anything of significance through Congress.
Experience helped Richard Nixon, but it didn’t save him, and it certainly wasn’t a blanket endorsement. He blundered terribly in dealing with Vietnam.
During his presidency, Truman and the Republicans were locked in a series of furious assaults on each other that outraged him and made Truman an enduring foe of a party and its representatives, which he saw as on the wrong side of almost every domestic and foreign policy issue he considered important.
There’s a certain clubbiness to the idea that you’re an ex-president. You’re no longer a politician. You’re a statesman.