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.

FILED UNDER: Politicians, Quick Takes, Sarah Palin, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark.>
     
    Yeah right, the only mark that leaves is more confirmation of your Palin Derangement Syndrome and your duplicity in not pointing out to readers that Rollins was Huckabee’s (a potential rival to Gov Palin in 2012) 2008 campaign manager who once compared Huckabee to Reagan:
     
    http://spectator.org/blog/2010/12/02/shaky-rollins
     
    This reinforces the problem that I have with you: Your withholding of relevant information that puts your posts and and the criticism of Gov Palin in context. DON’T YOU THINK IT IS RELEVANT IN SUCH A POST TO POINT OUT THAT THE PERSON CRITICIZING HER IS A RIVAL’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER???
     
    Look, I know you, James Joyner and the team here at OTB have their mind made up on Gov Palin. James said so himself in what I think was a very measured post on her yesterday when he said he believed negative impressions of her were cast in stone. I have no problem with that or his fortrightness. He didn’t try to put her down, didn’t claim she was dumb, didn’t call her names or tell her to go back to her igloo in Alaska. He stated his feelings in measured tones and that’s OK. I posted yesterday about well known Dems Jimmy Carter, Robert Reich & Howard Dean suggesting she should not be underestimated, so passions run high about her and her prospects are debatable.
     
    What I have a problem with is you not telling readers about information that may have put the criticism in context (ie her fued with Nicole Wallace, the fact that PPP is a DailyKOS poster, that AP recently had her Fav/Unfav at a not bad 46/49, that Ed Rollins is her rival’s campaign manager, etc). Your readers can then decide the merits of your post and the criticism therein.
    <!– –>

  2. Herb says:

    “Your withholding of relevant information that puts your posts and and the criticism of Gov Palin in context.”
     
    Like I said in another thread…..if Doug had to disclose every single person Palin has feuded with, he would be writing nothing but lists of people with whom Palin has feuded.

  3. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Like I said in another thread…..if Doug had to disclose every single person Palin has feuded with, he would be writing nothing but lists of people with whom Palin has feuded.>
     
    That’s wasn’t my point. No one is asking disclosure of every person Palin is feuding with in every single post. Any politician of consequence is going to have detractors, enemies, haters etc. Obama has haters, Reagan had haters, Bush had haters and people he feuded with, etc etc etc. The list of politicians with haters and people criticzing them is exhaustive. Palin is certainly no different in that she has a lot of haters, people that she feuds with. Palin’s feuds just seem amplified because she is so visisble, is a woman, and brings out so much passion in so many people.
     
    My point was to simply add a sentence to the post to say – Oh, by the way, the guy criticizing her in this case is a campaign manager for her rival. Or that Nicole Wallace, who criticized her on MSNBC yesterday, feuded with the Gov during and after the 2008 campaign, and was the subject of unflattering comments in Gov Palin’s book. Not every Repub criticizing Gov Palin has an agenda or axe to grind. They may simply not like her or thinks she is not the best candidate. I understand that. 
     
    But to not point out ulterior motives of people criticizing her, when an obvious agenda exists, is deceiving the readers of this blog IMO. 

  4. @Smooth Jazz:
    Fair enough that Rollins worked for Huckabee.  Of course, beyond that, anyone who knows who Rollins is would know that he is part of the broad Republican establishment and would obviously have someone else in the party whom he would support.  In other words, knowing Rollins’ basic bio means knowing that the quoted column in part of an intra-party critique of Palin.
    Beyond that, it would seem to me rather than ranting at Doug about “Palin Derangement Syndrome” you should tell us where Rollins is wrong.  Are you going to argue that Palin does, in fact, have a resume that compares well to Reagan’s?

  5. Herb says:

    A few things:
    “Oh, by the way, the guy criticizing her in this case is a campaign manager for her rival.”
    Rollins WAS the campaign manager for Huckabee 08, that’s true, but I think that particular enterprise ended in 08.  (It should also be noted that Huckabee and Palin were never rivals in 08 –think of the timing– and it’s a bit premature to declare them rivals for 12.  Let’s just say that Rollins, Huck, and Palin are on the same team:  The Republican team.)
     
    Above and beyond working for Huckabee, Rollins has been a Republican stalwart since Reagan’s re-election campaign.  He’s worked for more campaigns than Palin has probably voted for.  He’s a party strategist.  This is a guy who Palin should be seeking advice from….not running away screaming, “Quit being mean to me.”

  6. anjin-san says:

    Everyone who follows politics knows Rollins is a serious guy. This bit that anyone who criticizes Palin is a partisan “hater” with an axe to grind is getting a bit old, as is Smooth’s Doug obsession.
    I guess it is no great surprise that Palin’s followers, like Palin herself, tend to be thin skinned types who start whining the moment anyone approaches her with anything other than stars in their eyes.
    Time for Smooth to go hang out under the bridge with the rest of the trolls.

  7. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Everyone who follows politics knows Rollins is a serious guy.>
     
    Yeah right. Spare me the BS. Rollins is a Washington DC huckster who was the campaign manager for a guy who would likely be a major competitor to Gov Palin in 2012. You’re a disinigenuous hypocrite, who has a lot to say when Repubs criticize her, but clam up when well known Dems sing her praises and point out that she can be formidable:
     
    http://cubachi.com/2010/11/30/jimmy-carter-palin-is-one-of-the-most-dynamic-speakers-ive-ever-seen/
     
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich-s-Blog/2010/1201/Sour-economy-could-put-Sarah-Palin-in-the-White-House
     
    http://cubachi.com/2010/12/01/howard-dean-tea-party-is-racist-or-something-also-warns-palin-can-win/
     
    Crawl back into your hole and stop obsessing over everything I have to say. 

  8. mantis says:

    Ok, new rules for talking about Sarah Palin, compliments of Kenny G.
     
    Rule 1: The opinions of those who have worked for Palin in the past should be dismissed.  They are all just meanie feudsters. Only the opinions of people currently paid by Palin, or obsessed fanboys, should be considered.
     
    Rule 2: No Republican opinions of Palin, regardless of the opinion-holder’s Republican history and credentials, should ever be considered unless that person currently works for Palin or has pledged that he/she will under no circumstances work for or support any other candidate in 2012.
     
    Rule 3: If you write anything critical of Palin in any way, you are an obsessed leftie.  No exceptions.
     
    Rule 4: No discussion of Palin outside of Fox News and her Facebook posts and Twitter twats should be considered when writing about Palin.  All other “lamestream” media are just meanies out to get her, and anyone who doesn’t love her unconditionally is probably a communist terrorist.
     
    Rule 5: Palin’s reality show, and other entertainment venues she and her family appear in, are beyond criticism.  Any and all TV entertainment programming is totally appropriate for a possible presidential candidate, and all critics who say otherwise are lefties obsessed with Palin.
     
    Rule 6: Blog commenters who do nothing but wander about the Internet criticizing anyone and everyone who says a critical word or reports on said critiques of Palin (Smooth Jazz does this all over the web.  Here’s an identical comment to the one in this thread at GOP12.) are not obsessed with Palin in any way.  They are super-patriots and you will feel their boots on your neck when Palin is elected Ruler-for-Life of the United States of Alaska and Those Other States.

  9. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Ok, new rules for talking about Sarah Palin, compliments of Kenny G.>
     
    Kenny G??? I mentioned him is passing in 1 post – What does he have to do with anything? Besides, other than Kenny G’s 1984’s duotones album, I’m not a big fan of his other stuff. Personally I prefer saxophists Najee, Gerald Albright, Nelson Rangell, Andre Ward and Everette Harp more than Kenny G. 
    You can prattle on with whatever rules and “lists” you want, but my point has been the same since day 1: Gov Palin has the right to make her case if she so chooses. She shouldn’t have to go back to her igloo in Alaska because Doug at OTB or Joe Scarborough at MSNBC or her rival’s campaign manager or any other Palin Hater says she should. She should be allowed to make her case like everybody else. If she makes it successfully, she gets to the next step. If she doesn’t, I’m sure she find something else to do with her time.
     
     

  10. mantis says:

    my point has been the same since day 1: Gov Palin has the right to make her case if she so chooses.
     
    Nobody’s stopping her.  They’re just disagreeing with her and/or opposing her possible candidacy.  They have the right to do that as well.
     
    Keep fappin, Kenny!

  11. wr says:

    “My point has been since day 1”: Leave Sarah aloooooooone!!!!!!

  12. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Nobody’s stopping her.  They’re just disagreeing with her and/or opposing her possible candidacy.  They have the right to do that as well.>
     
    Keep hiving up that hot air; You are FOS and you know it. What Scarborough was saying yesterday, what many others keep saying is that she should take her ball and go home – so she doesn’t “ruin” the Repub party or guarantee a blowout in 2012. How do they know she will be blow out into 2012.
     
    These guys have it just about right:
     
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/45812.html
     
    That is my point all along; She should be allowed to run if she chooses to. As much as I admire here and would “like” to support her, I will only do that IF AND ONLY IF she proves she can do well in debates and on the stuff. If she doesn’t do well, then I support somebody else.
     
    You can keep stalking me but I’ll repeat the same thing every time: She has as much right to run as all the other candidates.
     
    Btw, If you really like to know my favorite performer and song that would be “Robert Winters and Fall” and their 1981 “When Will” release. A smooth jazz ballad and one for the ages. Robert Fall Btw was a paralyzed San Francisco Bay Area perfomer best known for his 1980 hit “Magic Man”.

  13. mantis says:

    Keep hiving up that hot air; You are FOS and you know it. What Scarborough was saying yesterday, what many others keep saying is that she should take her ball and go home – so she doesn’t “ruin” the Repub party or guarantee a blowout in 2012.
     
    So what?  They can’t force her, and she doesn’t have to listen.  Why do you think those people shouldn’t be free to share their opinion?
     
    That is my point all along; She should be allowed to run if she chooses to.
     
    Listen, dumbass.  She is allowed to run if she chooses to.  No one will be able to “disallow” her from running for office.  The point is that they don’t want her to.  And they’re free to feel that way and express it.
     
    You can keep stalking me but I’ll repeat the same thing every time: She has as much right to run as all the other candidates.
     
    Who’s stalking? I had a hunch that you were one of these traveling trolls with a singular mission, like 24Ahead, but you’re thing is Sarah Palin instead of Obama’s birth certificate.  So I googled, and sure enough, there you were on multiple sites saying the same things.  I’m not stalking you.  And again, no one disputes Palin’s “right” to run for office.
     
    Btw, If you really like to know my favorite performer and song
     
    I don’t, Kenny.  I really don’t.

  14. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Listen, dumbass.  She is allowed to run if she chooses to.  No one will be able to “disallow” her from running for office.>
     
    FU too…Ayuh!!  

  15. Terrye says:

    Smooth Jazz:
     
    Do you really think it helps Palin if you attack anyone and everyone who has a bone to pick with her or does not think she is up to being President? You are confusing..not being in love with her or doubting her abilities to hating her, stopping her, getting in her way or in some way slowing her down…as if these people are not allowed to say what they want.
     
    Well, guess what? They have the right to their opinions. You and Sarah Palin can either counter their points with points of your own or you can call them lefties and say they have no right to mention her name.
     
    But it does not help her. Bush, Reagan, Goldwater all had to take a lot of crap in the past. No one ever said the people who questioned or criticized them did not have a right to speak or that what they said was not relevant.
     

  16. Drew says:

    Setting aside that “smooth jazz’s” moniker may indicate horrific musical tastes…….
     
    He/she does have a point.  Think what you want about Palin, but Rollins’ prior affiliation is relevant.

  17. Carl Smith says:

    Rarely does one see such a well-thought out, well-expressed and dead-on accurate statement.  Face it — Palin is one of the “famous for being famous” celebrities that American society insists on creating.  I had been eagerly waiting to see who would finally invoke the Lloyd Benson quote.  Turns out, it was the top political advisor to Ronald Reagan himself.  In the words of a Paul Simon song, “Every generation throws a hero off the pop charts.”  Ms. Palin’s name will slowly lose favor on the hit parade of American politics. 

  18. Smooth Jazz says:

    <Rarely does one see such a well-thought out, well-expressed and dead-on accurate statement. I had been eagerly waiting to see who would finally invoke the Lloyd Benson quote…Turns out, it was the top political advisor to Ronald Reagan himself.>
     
    Rollins is a shill who once said he believed Huckabee would inherit Reagan’s mantle. Huckabee??? Did I forget to mention previously he managed Huckabee’s campaign 2 years ago. You don’t think someone who backed Gov Palin’s rival barely 2 years ago has an agenda to push, and whose statements about her should be put in context<LOL>.

  19. Tano says:

    I do think that Smooth Jazz would greatly benefit from taking a deep breath, putting on some smooth jazz, chilin’ just a bit, and then rereading this thread. Read it with the idea in his/her mind that people will be getting some sense of what the whole Palin phenomenon is about by seeing her partisans in action.
    Smooth Jazz presents an extremely rude, obnoxious, whiny, and totally unattractive attitude in all of his/her comments. Of course, people will eventually make up their mind about Palin based on Palin’s own qualities or lack thereof, but having salesmen who drive away potential customers can’t be much of a help to her.

  20. An Interested Party says:

    “Crawl back into your hole and stop obsessing over everything I have to say.” 
    Ironic coming from someone who does the same thing in regards to this sites posts about Palin…when will SmoothJazz be crawling back into his/her own hole…

  21. anjin-san says:

    > clam up when well known Dems sing her praises and point out that she can be formidable:

    If your reading skills were a bit better, you would know that I have said the same in here on several occasions. I think that Plain is a joke on many levels. I also think that she is a formidable force on the right. (very revealing about the right!)