Friday, February 29, 2008

"I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Breen."

When the Nashua Telegraph offered to sponsor a debate between the two of us on the Saturday evening preceding the election, we both accepted. Understandably, this brought howls from the other candidates. In protest, one of them, Senator Bob Dole, complained to the Federal Elections Commission that by financing a debate between only two of the seven candidates, the newspaper was making an illegal campaign contribution to the Bush and Reagan campaigns. The commission agreed with him, so my campaign offered to pay the full cost of the debate - a few thousand dollars - and they accepted.

I thought it had been unfair to exclude the other candidates from the debate. Most of them were also campaigning in New Hampshire that weekend, and since we were now sponsoring and paying for it, I decided to invite them to join the debate. Four of the other candidates - Bob Dole, Howard Baker, John Anderson, and Phil Crane (John Connally was campaigning elsewhere) - accepted. When we walked on to a platform set up for the debate at the Nashua High School gymnasium Saturday night, there was one table, two chairs, and six candidates. When he spotted the four other candidates, Jim Baker, George Bush's campaign manager, protested and said George would not participate in the debate as long as they were part of it. Since I had invited them, I couldn't go along with him and exclude the other candidates, so we were at an awkward impasse. George just sat frozen in his chair, not saying anything; I sat in the other chair with the four other candidates standing behind me, looking embarrassed in front of two or three thousand people while being literally told they had to leave.

Unable to understand what was going on, the audience hooted and hollered an urged us to proceed. I decided I should explain to the crowd what the delay was all about and started to speak. As I did, an editor of the Nashua newspaper shouted to the sound man, "Turn Mr. Reagan's microphone off." Well, I didn't like that - we were paying the freight for the debate and he was acting as if his newspaper was still sponsoring it. I turned to him, with the microphone still on, and said the first thing that came to my mind: "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Breen." Well, for some reason my words hit the audience, whose emotions were already worked up, like a sledgehammer. The crowd roared and just went wild. I may have won the debate, the primary - and the nomination - right there.

I continued to campaign for the remaining days until the election. When the polls closed, I learned I had won the seven-way New Hampshire primary with fifty-one percent of the vote. In retrospect, this was really the pivotal day of the whole primary campaign for me. Shortly after New Hampshire, all the candidates except George Bush dropped out, and then, near the end of May, he dropped out too.

In early July, when Nancy and I arrived at the Republican National Convention in Detroit, it appeared I had more than enough delegate votes to win the nomination and the next thing on my agenda was choosing a running mate. The delegates were waiting for me at the Joe Louis Arena to announce my decision. The obvious choice was George Bush. When I announced my decision to the throng of delegates crowded into the arena, they rose to their feet with a tremendous roar. The roof almost came off. As George and I stood there together, it was almost as if we were putting the party back together again. I then asked the delegates to join me in a silent prayer. Now George and I faced the challenge, together, of beating Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Will you share your GPA with me?

Hi Guys and Gals,

Sometimes you have to put it into terms that they can understand. We can change the minds of those caught up in all of the hype and feel good of the message being espoused by the democrats. YES WE CAN! Oh and by the way, would any of you be willing to buy a health insurance policy for me? If you can't, just vote for a democrat in November, they will be glad to tax you to death so that "THEY" can provide me with "FREE" health care. Do you see residents of the United
States rushing to Canada for that marvelous health care system that they have? Do you see residents of Canada coming to the US because they can't wait months upon months for medical treatment? Think about it and get motivated. It took four years of Jimmy Carter before we appreciated Ronald Reagan. Do we really want to go back there? I don't think so! Please read the following and share with the youngest among us. Maybe it will ring a bell!


A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and was very much in favor of 'the redistribution of wealth.'

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, 'How is your friend Audrey doing?' She replied, 'Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.'

Her wise father asked his daughter, 'Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.'

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, 'That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!'

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, 'Welcome to the Republican party.'