Campaign Questions: What political leader do you most admire and why?
I was young and impressionable as I listened in awe to his masterful speeches. It was not until much later that I gained sufficient insight to realize that this monumental figure had feet of clay due to bureaucracy.
I do not believe Ronald Reagan was a cynic. I think that in some way he really, truly believed in everything he said, even when he got it all wrong. For all the wrong directions he took us in however, there were some genuine achievements in his administration:
A) He changed the way government did business. From Johnson's Great Society to Nixon's authoritarianism to Carter's well-intention bumbling we had developed a bloated, inefficient, unwieldy, self-perpetuating federal bureaucracy. Reagan reduced and streamlined the federal agencies (some of which admittedly should not have been cut), effected regulatory reform and returned some power to the states. While this had mixed results, it was not a trivial thing.
B) He recognized not only the inherent evils of Soviet-style Communism, but also its built-in weaknesses. He was able to understand that with a few well-placed nudges in the right direction the Soviet bloc would collapse under its own weight. Reagan did not by any stretch of the imagination bring about the collapse single-handily, but he was certainly instrumental in Communism's demise.
C) We should not take so lightly people's statements like "He restored my faith in America", because that in of itself was quite an accomplishment. Someone who was not around during that time might fail to realize the high level of malaise that was so prevalent. Much like there is today. There had been the horrors of Vietnam, the endless cold war, the dark paranoia and outright criminality of Nixon, the seeming ineffectiveness of Carter, the was a recession
going on and inflation was running amok. The 70's were not good times. Reagan changed that. He imparted a sense of confidence and esprit to the nation. He was the first president since JFK to put a positive note into the public discourse.
For better or for worse, Reagan had that elusive quality known as "leadership".
As Texas Comptroller I am qualified and ready to lead.