Ed Rollins To Sarah Palin: I Knew Ronald Reagan, And You’re No Ronald Reagan
Ed Rollins, who served as Ronald Reagan’s political adviser and was the mastermind of Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign, has a message for Sarah Palin:
Quit comparing yourself to Ronald Reagan. To paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s comments to Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate: I knew Ronald Reagan, and you’re no Ronald Reagan.
You’re a media star and a great curiosity. You were plucked out of political obscurity because of the whim of presidential contender John McCain, who didn’t know you and made you into an overnight sensation. You performed well for three weeks in the campaign, did better than expected against Joe Biden in the debate and then you self-destructed.
The Reagan comparisons aren’t helping. You might as well compare yourself to Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt.Before President Reagan was your age, he was an international movie and television star, the actor’s union president and a spokesman for a major U.S. corporation.
I know you were only 2 when Ronald Reagan was elected by a landslide to the first of two terms as governor of California in 1966, but I would have hoped somewhere along the way through the five colleges you attended that you would have learned a little history. And I can tell you being governor of the most populous state is a lot tougher than being governor of one of the least populous ones.
The year you were born, Ronald Reagan picked up the torch of Barry Goldwater after the debacle of 1964 and carried it proudly forward. He rebuilt the Republican Party after Watergate, the resignation of Richard Nixon and the defeat of Gerald Ford in 1976.
He won two electoral landslides and made the presidency work again after several failed presidencies. He also never quit anything or any job before he was done. And he was a great communicator because he not only made great speeches, he wrote many of them because it was what he believed. People listened to them and were moved by them.
Ms. Palin, serious stuff needs to be accomplished in Washington.
If you want to be a player, go to school and learn the issues. Put smart people around you and listen to them. If you want to be taken seriously, be serious. You’ve already got your own forum. If you want to be a serious presidential candidate, get to work. If you want to be an imitator of Ronald Reagan, go learn something about him and respect his legacy.
If you want to be a gadfly, just keep doing what you’re doing.
Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark.