The paradox within both men, between the public and private personaes of each of them is remarkable and uncanny.
And if you're going to say something about getting misty-eyed, Obama and Reagan can do that to a group while Bush hardly ever did that, and post 9/11 speeches just don't count.
Reagan was so good at his public persona that conservatives simply believed that his policies meant that gov't was shrinking, when of course it was expanding.
On Iran-Contra the public persona was of a cowboy who would not negotiate with terrorists when in reality he gave them weapons in exchange for hostages.
Publicly a small gov't crusader, but in reality a near tripling of the debt.
In public it was all about "morning in America....the shining city on top of the hill"; in reality, times got even better if you were already doing okay, and times either stayed the same or got worse if you were already struggling to get by.
With Obama we can list the paradoxes as well. Publicly he championed the public option; behind closed doors, he didn't even give it a chance, didn't fight for it.
He said he'd close Gitmo, but although many people have been shipped outta there, there it is, still open.
Why? Because like Reagan, Obama at his core is a compromiser. They're both milk toasts whose natural personalities are to walk into a room and be the barometer in the room. They both had father issues and then got the top job in the country and their own personal notions of how to lead grew out of how they saw themselves to be as men in the absence of real father figures they could look up to. And the personalities they both share is of the gentle, Santa Clause-like leader who may say this and that, but at the end of the day they will look for the middle ground and get things done so they can move onto something else.