John Fund’s talk in Little Rock 4-27-11(Part 1):Carter, Clinton and Obama all governed from left when first elected (Royal Wedding Part 14)

Today I got to attend the first ever “Conservative Lunch Series” presented by  KARN and Americans for Prosperity Foundation at the Little Rock Hilton on University Avenue. This monthly luncheon will be held the fourth Wednesday of every month. The speaker for today’s luncheon was John Fund.
John Fund writes the weekly “On the Trail” column for He is author of “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy” (Encounter, 2004).

He joined The Wall Street Journal as a deputy editorial features editor in 1984 and was a member of the editorial board from 1995 through 2001. The articles he has written have appeared in Esquire, Reader’s Digest, Reason, The New Republic, and National Review. He became an editorial page writer specializing in politics and government in October 1986 and was a member of the Journal’s editorial board from 1995 through 2001. Next month’s guest speaker will be Andrew Breitbart.

First, we got to hear from Dave Elswick of KARN   who came up with the idea of this luncheon, and then from Teresa Crossland of Americans for Prosperity. After listening to their inspiring short talks I had determined in my heart that I was going to get the word out about these luncheons to all my conservative friends who want to know what is going on politically in Washington and in our beloved Arkansas.

John Fund touched on several subjects but the one that caught my interest the most is the observation that he made about the behavior of three Democrat Presidents: Jimmy Carter (elected in 1976), Bill Clinton (elected 1992) and Barack Obama (elected 2008).

Fund mentioned a meeting that Ronald Reagan had with his former campaign advisors shortly after Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976. In that speech Reagan told them that Democrats can’t get their way unless a couple of things happen. First, Republicans forsake their values and join them. Unfortunately, Richard Nixon had done that just a few years earlier. Second, liberals have to be smart enough to run a candidate that will appear to govern from the middle. However, Reagan told his campaign workers that sure enough the only problem for that Democrat that gets elected President is that he will be required by the liberals in Congress to govern from the left and that is a prescription for disaster every time. Whenever and wherever liberalism has been tried, it has always failed.

Fund said sure enough 3 years later President Carter had brought on the USA 21% interest rates, 12% inflation and 10% unemployment and Reagan’s slogan was:

“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

Fund went down the events surrounding Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama and drew comparisons. It was amazing to listen to the insights that Reagan had in 1976 and how these events happened over and over.

Not only did Jimmy Carter scare the public with his liberal policies, but the first thing Bill Clinton did when he was elected was scare the public with his “Hillarycare” healthcare bill and the result was the landslide victory for Republicans in 1994. The same could be said for President Obama in 2010!!!!

Fund noted that the Republicans have a refreshing group of candidates  that will be running in the Republican Primary this time around. He did call Donald Trump an entertainer that will drop out and not run. He also said that Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels (Tolbert says Daniels will decide shortly if he will run) and several other candidates had a good chance to win. I was wondering if he would give more names and possibly comment on former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, but he didn”t.

Today Jason Tolbert reported:

Someone a lot more in the know than me floats another theory. According to the scuttlebutt, Barbour’s exit yesterday has begun to tip the scales in favor of Huckabee pulling the trigger on jumping into the race but it has also changed his way of thinking.

Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times thinks Huckabee will run while Steve Brawner in his most article thinks Huckabee will not run. 

Fund noted that this year will be different than the past because we will have fresh blood in the race. Fund observed, “Republicans have had a Bush, Nixon, or Dole on the ticket every election since 1948 except one (1964).”

How do the Republicans and Democrats go about picking their presidential candidates. Fund asserted,The republicans have a shallow gene pool, but the democrats are like kids on blind dates that keep falling in love. They fell in love with Carter, Kerry, Dukakis, and now Obama.”

Last month Fund spoke to the Texas Tea Party Patriots Pac and there he also talked about how the Democrats and Republicans choose their candidates. The website “Texas for 56” reported:

The Democrats use a “Blind date” method of selecting the Presidential candidate.   Who is popular?  Who has the charisma?   They look at everyone, find someone interesting, and decide to “try them out”.  After they are elected, everyone gets to know  who they are and what they stand for as a President.  There were a lot of chuckles when this theory was disclosed.  Mr. Fund went on to prove his point by a brief review of some candidates in the last century.  There did seem to be a preponderance of evidence to prove the point.

What about the Republicans?   Who is next in line? There is a definite pattern of behavior from 1948 through 2008.  They tend to nominate whoever has been around a while. 

Mr Fund did take time to sign copies of his book and I briefly got to visit with him when I was getting a copy signed. I told him that I blogged about him this week (yesterday and the day before ) and he asked my site. Instead of telling him to type in , I told him to google “Milton Friedman Arkansas” and my website would come up a lot since I have a lot of Friedman video clips and quotes on my blog.

Next month’s guest is Andrew Breitbart and the luncheon will be held on Wednesday May 25th. This is the first in a series of posts that I will be making over the next few days on the things that I learned at today’s luncheon. I want to encourage everyone to check out next month’s luncheon.

Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart is publisher of the news portals and, and Andrew co-wrote the best-selling attack on celebrity culture, Hollywood, Interrupted and was the primary developer for The Huffington Post.

John Fund

John Fund is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and its and an on-air contributor to 24-hour cable news networks CNBC and MSNBC. He is the author of several best selling books.

David Boaz of CATO joins John to discuss the massive impact of Milton Friedman on America and the world.


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