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Effective Leaders - Reagan and Clinton

            Both Reagan and Clinton have striking personalities. Clinton is described as "a president whose persona became the overriding issue of his administration."1 Independent of liking or not liking Clinton, his character can be described as charming, "seductive", and "crowd-pleasing."2 Being an actor, Reagan professionally knew how to please and delude a crowd and used his skills together with his "irrepressibly optimistic temperament."3 Reagan and Clinton are presidents "that we are not likely to forget or witness again for some time."4 Although Reagan is described as "un-intellectual or anti-intellectual"5, he "undertook a serious self-education in politics through reading."6 Clinton's "considerable problem-solving skills, his agile mind and questioning manner"7 signifies of his "intellectual prowess."8 Critical thinking of Clinton and Reagan made them doubt when choosing between Democrats and Republicans. .
             Similarly, Reagan and Clinton actually shifted to the right when they felt it was a right thing to do. Reagan's "idiosyncratic conservatism, which combined forward-looking optimism with his deep regard for our heritage"9 still poses a lot of questions and challenges people to wonder about his shift to the right. Reagan was supported by religious conservatives, a phenomenon known as "the New Right or New Christian Right" fighting "pornography, homosexuality, the advocacy of immorality in school textbooks."10 Likewise, Clinton signed "the Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting the federal government from recognizing state-licensed marriages between same-sex couples."11 Both presidents won votes of people with the shift to the right although it was risky. "Reagan's switch required considerable courage"12 when he left Democratic Party "at a time when conservatism was still in the political wilderness and regarded by the respectable elites as beyond the fringe, if not plain nutty.

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