“I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things.” – Ronald Reagan, in his Jan. 11, 1989 farewell address to the American people (text)
“The biggest misunderstanding about Reagan’s political life is that he was inevitable. He was not. He had to fight for every inch, he had to make it happen. What Billy Herndon said of Abraham Lincoln was true of Reagan too: He had within him, always, a ceaseless little engine of ambition. He was good at not showing it, as was Lincoln, but it was there. He was knowingly in the greatness game, at least from 1976, when he tried to take down a sitting president of his own party.” – Peggy Noonan, in her column on Ronald Reagan during this season of his 100th birthday celebration.
“We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, “Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we’re willing to make a deal with your slave masters.”” – Ronald Reagan, in his October 27, 1964 “Time for Choosing” speech
“Reagan understood instinctively that modern liberalism represented a rejection of the constitutional premises of self-government. … Hence the core of Reagan’s political purpose was recovering an appreciation for the Founder’s understanding of the principles and practices of American government. This was central to his rhetoric to a much greater extent than it was to that of any other modern day president of either party. … ‘We’re for limited government,’ he said in his 1988 State of the Union speech, ‘because we understand, as the Founding Fathers did, that it is the best way of ensuring personal liberty and empowering the individual so that every American of every race and region share fully in the flowering of American prosperity and freedom.’” – Steven F. Hayward, in The Age of Reagan, 1980-1989: The Conservative Counterrevolution.