Thursday, June 10, 2004

Reagan's life inspires GOP officials

Around Northern Kentucky

Pat Crowley

Many of today's leading Northern Kentucky Republicans came of political age during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Here are some of their thoughts on his passing:

• State Sen. Damon Thayer, Georgetown. "I knew that I was a Republican in 1976 when I was 9 years old during the Ford-Carter race, but it wasn't until Ronald Reagan became president that I knew why I was a Republican. He inspired me then, and his belief in America as the 'last best hope of man on earth' will inspire me for the rest of my life."

• GOP adviser Rick Robinson, Fort Mitchell. "I will remember Ronald Reagan as he requested, as someone who appealed to my best hopes, not my worst fears, to my confidence rather than my doubts. In his name and honor, I will travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding my steps and opportunity's arm steadying my way."

• Fourth District GOP Chairman Marcus Carey, Owenton. "It was Ronald Reagan's approach that laid the foundation for the success of the Republican Party. We learned how to win elections with Reagan's candidacy."

• Fourth District GOP congressional candidate Geoff Davis, Hebron. "President Reagan gave the commencement address at my graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, an inspiring moment that will always be with me. His vision of our nation as a shining city on a hill ... will live on in his absence."

DEMS DISSED: Northern Kentucky Democrats felt understandably left out of last week's coverage of the state GOP convention, which was held for the first time in Northern Kentucky.

The Democrats did have an event last week when 4th Congressional District candidate Nick Clooney and Kathy Groob, who is running for state Senate, opened a joint campaign office in Fort Mitchell.

About 150 people attended the cookout and rally, including lots of supporters in their 20s. Youth has not always been evident at Democratic events. Groob and Clooney have energized younger people.

MITCH ON MOVIES: Davis has used "Hollywood versus the Heartland" to portray Clooney and his actor son, George, as liberals out of touch with Kentucky's 4th District.

In a letter printed in the program for the state GOP convention, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell chimed in with his version of the Davis line.

"The Clooney family may be full of good actors," McConnell wrote, "but they are more Hollywood than Hebron."

There isn't a smarter politician in Kentucky than McConnell. But Clooney's roots in Kentucky are much deeper than Davis', who has lived in the region for less than a decade.

Clooney's son may be Hollywood, but he isn't.

E-mail Crowley interviews Northern Kentucky University journalism instructor Patrick Moynahan this week on ICN6's "On The Record," broadcast daily on Insight Communications Channel 6.

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