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The "Racist Reagan" Kerfluffle
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The various opinion columnists for the New York Times are now going at it over whether Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign kickoff in Mississippi was a case of Reagan's blatant atttempt to capture the all-important racist vote in the South.

This trope is a particular favorite of America's Worst Columnist®, Bob Herbert. He trots it out every couple of years, and does so again today. This is, apparently, in response to David brooks, who wrote a column last Friday, pooh-poohing both Bob Herbert, who repeated the charge on Sep 25, and Paul Krugman, who wrote about it on 24 Sep. Krugman, has, by the way, brought the subject up four times in the last few years.

Taranto has a complete rundown.

Apparently, Paul Krugman didn't always feel that way about President Reagan. After all, Prof. Krugman worked in the Reagan White House in 1982-1983.

As Taranto puts it: "The former Enron adviser is a former Reagan aide too!"
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Ahh, the year that Ed Clark got over 1% of the vote.

Written By: Syloson of Samos
This article you mention is actually part of a long running argument between Brooks and your old buddy, Krugman.See Yglesias and my own comments
Written By: Bithead
The various opinion columnists for the New York Times are now going at it over whether Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign kickoff in Mississippi was a case of Reagan’s blatant atttempt to capture the all-important racist vote in the South.

From the standpoint of perception it may not have been the best idea to kickoff the general election there.

Anyway, a lot of people have observed that Reagan probably sinched the general election on the day or so before it commenced when he asked in a pre-election broadcast* "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" (or something to that effect), so even if the Mississippi speech was a "gaffe" it wasn’t where the election was won or lost.

*BTW, why don’t we have those broadcasts anymore? Or am I just missing them? The one I remember most clearly was that in 1984, when Mondale, Reagan and Lyndon LaRouche all gave fifteen or thirty minute statements.
Written By: Syloson of Samos
So, Reagan went to the Neshoba County Fair and spoke to the white folks about state rights. I wonder how he got them away from the mule pull or the Paso Fina demonstration. That’s what I always go to see.
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://

He may not have. In the stories I’ve seen on the subject I can’t recall anyone stating whether it was well attended or not. I tried to find a video of the event online, but came up with nothing.

I did find this however. The video quality isn’t that great.
Written By: Syloson of Samos

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