Savannah Guthrie is apparently very smart. Guthrie was a member of the prestigious Order of the Coif (which has nothing to do with promoting good scalp health, nor with seventeenth-century headwear) while earning a J.D. from Georgetown Law, highlight her ability to learn dull and boring things very quickly.
Lost among the dusty tomes of Georgetown, however, was the fact that Ronald Reagan was a very nice guy.
On the Friday edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the Brew Crew was discussing the apparent Zen-like calm of the Obama White House. Guthrie, drawing on her spectacular knowledge of the Reagan era, noted the difference in temperament between the Reagan and Obama administrations:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: That's true. There is this no-drama ethic, and – it's funny, sometimes you hear about other politicians – I was reading a book about Reagan and his evil empire and some of the things he said about Russia, and I thought, it’s just – you could not imagine that kind of rhetoric coming from Obama. He's such a measured, even guy. And obviously, it’s a difference in temperament. Not casting a judgement on it one way or the other, but it’s just such a different approach. And I think that it does extend throughout the White House. Although, in any White House, there's a little palace intrigue, a little drama, there’s competition and there’s certainly plenty of that.
No doubt. As we all know, Reagan was quite a paragon of emotional reactionism.
The man known as “The Great Communicator” was known for his dry quips and prodigious wisdom, much more than he was ever known for losing his cool. Two occasions one might recall of Reagan losing his cool might be the famous “I am paying for this microphone” moment, during the 1980 Republican presidential primary campaign and in the waning days of his 1980 campaign, when he irritably told a heckler to shut up – much to the delight of the rest of the crowd. And of course, the electorate seemed to agree.
One might characterize the Obama administration a shade differently. Joe Scarborough did mention the hard-charging Rahm Emanuel as one conspicuous exception to the rule immediately preceding the Guthrie quote – which, if one thinks about it, makes Guthrie’s historical revisionism that much more irritating. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that the comparison of Reagan, a two-term President, to Obama, a seven-month President, is patently ridiculous.
Obama’s freshman year has been fairly easy so far, politically speaking. The president has not been legislatively or politically frustrated yet. If Obama’s approval ratings hit the lower half of the 40's, we shall see if the Zen veneer still holds.