Google+
Close

The Corner

The one and only.

Der Arnold



Text  



The first point to make–at least for somebody who has just published a book titled How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life–is that although the press finds the comparison irresistible, Der Arnold ain’t the Gipper. By the time Reagan ran for governor of California in 1966, he’d spent a quarter of a century in public life, working out his political positions and getting to know the state by giving speeches, writing newspaper columns, and delivering radio talks. When several years ago Clark Judge, my old colleague in the Reagan speechwriting shop, asked Cap Weinberger when he’d first met Reagan, Weinberger replied that it was one or another event for the GOP in San Francisco–he couldn’t remember which one because Reagan had spoken at so many. “Every Republican organizer in the state of California,” Weinberger replied, “knew that even if he couldn’t get anybody else to speak he could always rely on Reagan.” Der Arnold? He’s calling himself a moderate, but that label doesn’t exactly amount to a detailed political prospectus. (On the single issue on which he has indeed taken a position, abortion, Arnold is actually to the left of his Kennedy in-laws. In 1992, you’ll recall, Eunice and Sargent Shriver signed an open letter, protesting the ban on pro-life speakers at the Democratic National Convention.)

But Arnold has a big opportunity to do a lot of good even so–in particular by making Hispanics feel more welcome in the GOP. “English isn’t my first language, either,” Arnold can say. “And just like you, I came to this country to find a better life–and to become an American.”



Text