Sean heard her confession and then pronounced only blessings on her head for voting her heart (LOL - I thought that's what it's called when we vote for the candidate we want to WIN, not the candidate we hope will take out someone else).
Now absolved, she stumbled over herself to let Sean know that really, she's a lifelong Republican; her first vote: Reagan. Sean warmly chimed in, "Me too! Though I'm sure you're younger, skinnier and prettier."
She added, "My political ideals weren't formed back then. I voted for Reagan because it just felt right. There was excitement in the air. We knew that we could bring about a big change."
Sean replied, "It was an exciting time, wasn't it? I remember that feeling then too."
Meanwhile, my car veered off the road as I contemplated the unwitting similarities to the sense of exuberance and excitement Obama is generating. Neither Sean nor the caller had understood their enthusiasm for Reagan; they just knew it was an exciting time to vote - that somehow Reagan had reached across the TV screens and had cast a vision young people could embrace and risk their first votes on.
E. J. Dionne writes about the similarities between Obama and Reagan here.
Reagan's foes wrote him off as a right-wing former actor who amiably spouted conservative bromides and must have been engaged in some sort of Hollywood flimflam.
Like Reagan's enemies, Obama's opponents concede that he gives a great speech. Indeed, both Obama and Reagan came to wide attention because of a single oration that offered hope in the midst of a losing campaign -- Obama's 2004 keynote to the Democratic National Convention and Reagan's 1964 "A Time for Choosing" address delivered on behalf of Barry Goldwater. But surely speeches aren't enough, are they?
Yes, Obama gets his crowds swooning. So did Reagan. It's laughable to hear conservatives talk darkly about a "cult of personality" around Obama. The Reaganites, after all, have lobbied to name every airport, school, library, road, bridge, government building and lamppost after the Gipper. When it comes to personality cults, the right wing knows what it's talking about.
The frustration of the Clinton campaign is understandable. Like George H.W. Bush, whom Reagan defeated for the presidential nomination in 1980, Hillary Clinton has worked very hard, knows government from the inside out and would clearly provide the country with a safe set of hands. The Clintonites argue, fairly, that there is no way to know if Obama can live up to The Promise of Obama.
But the same was true of Ronald Reagan. In that 1980 speech, Reagan quoted a certain Democratic president who "told the generation of the Great Depression that it had a 'rendezvous with destiny.' I believe that this generation of Americans today has a rendezvous with destiny."
Obama is being propelled by the same sense of historical opportunity, and that is why it will be hard to derail him.