Embracing Reagan Is At Your Own Peril
I understand why Hillary said it. She saw the losses of so called Reagan Democrats in Michigan both within the party and with Republicans crossing over to vote for Bernie. This was reinforced by Democrats in Michigan also crossing over to vote for Trump, but whoever thought this was a good idea is shortsighted.
While I believe Hillary is going to win, she should not take Sanders too lightly. This “comment” wreaks of general election focus and not on the Democratic Party electorate. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the death of Nancy Reagan, but tying it to policy and being wrong about it was unfortunate.
I think the impulse as a former policy oriented first lady to point out Nancy’s role in policy possibly took over, but again, this is why you have campaign staff around to prevent errors such as that from occurring. This is why I believe it was her and not her campaign.
Either way, we’re Democrats and embracing Reagan is mistaken. He kicked our ass up and down the street. Respect him as a worthy political adversary and learn from his victories, but realize his policies as President made things worse for many people.
As far as the need to play towards the general election, as a Hillary supporter in 2016 whom was an Obama supporter in 2008, I would hope the lessons from that election would mean that everyone around her would be focused on securing the primary. Any commentary toward the general should be geared towards boosting the Trump candidacy in the Republican primary while simultaneously denouncing Trump’s policy and rhetoric. Embracing Reagan, if there absolutely must be, should be left in the arena of general feelings of euphoria rather than specific policy directives.
Hillary Clinton will most likely be the next President of the United States. She’s the most qualified candidate, and the most ready to takeover the position Day 1. Reagan’s policy and inaction on AIDS in the 80’s was at best lacking and at worst deplorable. She apologized, but depending upon your perspective, the fact it looks like this will be lost in the media cycle is either fortunate or disturbing.