How I wish such a debate could really be held. The Gipper vs. The South Side Messiah! Reagan succeeded in moving the country politically to the right for decades. Obama is attempting to do the same for a leftward trajectory. Reagan lost 26 seats in the House in 82, but won re-election in 84 with an economy that recovered. Obama is the opposite of Reagan politically, but I assume that he is hoping this history can repeat for him in 12. If he is Machiavellian enough he may even be hoping that the GOP takes control of Congress in the Fall, thereby giving him an opportunity to attack a Republican Congress in 11 and 12. The problem for Obama is that Reagan had a substantial part of the GOP that was completely dedicated to him. I don’t think Obama enjoys that type of authority in his party currently. If the economy continues to be weak, I believe Obama may face a serious primary challenge in 12, something Reagan did not have to worry about in 84. Reagan wasn’t just President, he was the leader of the Conservative movement in the Republican party and had been since 76. Obama enjoys no such unfied support as of now from the Left of his party.