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As Obama hits the campaign trail, 'Mourning in America' ad greets him, recalling the Reagan era

These videos pretty much speak for themselves.

The first one is the classic "Morning in America" ad that helped ensure Ronald Reagan's overwhelming reelection in 1984 over some Democrat from Minnesota.

Watch it. And then scroll down to the next one.

Now here's a powerful new ad that you'll soon be seeing on TVs across the country.

Its title is different by one letter: "Mourning in America."

Democratic President Obama and his sidekick from Delaware head out on ambitious cross-country campaign swings starting this week, trying to stem what polls indicate is a serious hemorrhaging of political support for their administration, their expensive policies and their majority party that has controlled Congress since 2007.

Obama's not on any ballot on the Nov. 2 elections. But this slow-paced visual....

...message by Fred Davis of Strategic Perception for Citizens for the Republic is aimed smack dab at him -- and by implication all those who support the incumbent's "grand experiment" that has so regrettably failed.

However, Obama's not angrily attacked. And he's mentioned only once.

But as Kathleen Parker so eloquently notes, that's enough with the parallel, contrasting Reagan era images to tap into, not the ubiquitous anger we hear so much about abroad in the land these days, but instead into the nation's surging sense of sadness over the failure of so many hopes in the last two years.

Now, tell us below what you think of these two commercials.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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This is a great contrast, certainly. I remember the Reagan era. Even as I did not support him and believed the lies and distortion told about him and his policies, I recall his determined leadership, clarity of thought, and idealism in stark contrast to the scolding and whining from Carter. If Republicans take over control of the House, we must recall, too, that Republicans in the 8 years under Bush were hardly of the Reagan type. They were weak, corrupt, self concerned. Hold some feet to the fire, citizens, don't let any of them bamboozle us.

Great ad!

Wow. Where do I sign up to donate to air that in my home town?

The Obama, Liberal, Islamic Regimes are united to destroy personal freedom, Christian religion, and capitalism.

Very well done, and a sobering way to contrast Big O's "grand experiment" with Reagan's grounded and effective policies.

It's important to recognize this aspect of our country's current mood instead of just the anger: the effects of Obama's policies have damaged our Present and will affect the Future of several generations to come. Going to college, buying a home, having a stable job, retiring - so many dreams have been destroyed that it's hard not to feel unmoored and disillusioned. But I hope this ad helps remind people of what we had and what CAN be again if we choose to be proactive at the polls in November.

This is a very powerful ad and speaks volumes to all the Independent fence sitters as well as responsible centrist Democrats. November is not a referendum on the person but it certainly is on the Socialist policies which are failing our Nation.

Now that is what we need to Take Back America,
Come on November 2.
Boxer must go! Brown must LOSE.
Than we can go after the old lady Feinstein.

There is mourning in America. Brought to all of us by Obama and the democrat party. Most of the country knows this. Will California finally get the drift and do the right thing in November? Will the narcissists finally look away from the mirror, look around, and vote responsibly? Let's "hope" so.

The uncertainty about what Bush will do next is crippling the economy. Bush keeps forcing Obama to make terrible choices that make Obama look like a weakling, and make America look clueless. Bush's legacy is poisoning the great Barack's brilliant plans for duplicating the successes of Mugabe and Chavez. Why won't Bush stop ruining things for Obama?

OUTSTANDING AD. Truly effective and devistating for any Democrat


I remember the first ad, it made me quite nostalgic. The second is an interesting comparison/contrast which I would have missed without having reviewed the first. I hope the ad works some magic this year.

wow, what an amazing ad.

Both of the ads almost made me cry.

The Reagan ad for happiness.

The Obama ad for sadness.

God help us.


These are two great commercials. They are both equally true and the second one needs to be played on every radio and television station in America. Vote November 2nd to reverse the malaise.

I miss Reagan & the 80's compaired to whats going on at the moment. I do not even recognize my country at times. Is there blame to go around yea plenty & thats why I miss Reagan.. He just fixed it & moved on to the next thing. Did he step on a few toes? Yep. Did he work with both parties as he did not have the majority on his side as this presidendt does? Yep. He had to because Presidents don't make the laws or set the FINAL budgets into motion they only SIGN them. Sure they set the agenda & help persuade public opinion but it's congress & senate that do the rest.

Last... before the it's all Bush's fault people show up. Watch the video of the Congressmen telling us how stable things were back when the previous admin. was telling us it was not. Yes the news caster is Brit Hume but the video is of the actual congress men so you can take that & throw the baby out too can you? Keep in mind who controlled the Congress & Senate the last 4 years now & who was in control of which sector of Finances & Taxes those last 4 years.

The first vote I ever cast was for Ronald Wilson Reagan so this 'ad' I remember well and proudly - I can honestly say, that the second ad "Mourning" is well done, creative, and hits the chord needed in how a majority of Americans see this country and their lives. Both ads did and do even to this day.
For those a bit too young, by the second term of Mr. Reagan it did seem we had come out of the long darkness of the 70's and early 80's - even though times were still a bit hard, the 'morning' had arrived and we knew the 'day' to come be wonderful under Reagan's strong leadership. Now, we 'mourn' for the same reasons that propelled Mr. Reagan into office, economic, social, and indeed in the area of national security (strength is lacking now as it was before we elected Reagan in 1980) - so the ad does its job. Wow, I feel like Darren Stevens !!

Both ad's are top shelf stuff. Well done and to the point.

I think there's alot of truth in that ad.

Along with the word "mourning" the other word that comes to mind is "anxiety"

obama is the second term of jimmy carter; hence, we'll see a reagan-like candidate, ie, sarah palin, win in 2012, which will represent ''change we'll be begging for.''

Great! That's all I have to say.

Seeing the ads side by side show a stark difference in the emotional sentiment of our country right now. Instead of the future being filled with optimism, it is now clouded with uncertainty and fear. The fact that every man, woman and child in the country now bears over $40,000 in debt due to the out of control spending by both parties is scary. The special interests, SEIU negotiated pensions, pay discrepency between private and public employees have all put us under the yoke.

Unfortunately the USA is suffering from a severe lack of any vision by Obama. No big ideas only a dogmatic approach and a one size fits all attitude.
There are ways to get people back to work and this is to give employers big incentives to take people on their payrolls. Rather than give money to prop up failed banks give it to people to help them with their mortgages.
In tough times you need a government that scraps all of it's ideology and is creative. Obama will come and go and people will say 'what was that all about?'

"Mourning in America" is the most powerful political ad I've ever seen. It had me in tears. Obama cannot possibly address this ad because doing that would only draw more attention to it.

Excellent Ads, tell the story.

According to the latest POLITICO / George Washington University Battleground Poll,only 38 percent of respondents said Obama deserves to be reelected. Forty-four percent said they will vote to oust him, and 13 percent said they will consider voting for someone else.

It’s Obama’s policies that are hurting him right now. By a 13-point margin, voters are down on the health care law. In an especially troubling sign, more than half of self-identified independents — 54 percent — have an unfavorable opinion of the law, compared with just 38 percent who have a favorable opinion.

The Tea Party Movement, which has emerged as the biggest threat to Democrats’ dominance of Washington, is viewed favorably by 43 percent of respondents, compared with 35 percent who view it unfavorably. In the eight-state Mountain West region, more than half — 53 percent — have a favorable view of the tea party movement.

I agree with the message but the ad is no good.

The LA Times is right on with this story.

I'm absolutely stunned...

The LA Times being critical of the Obama Administration...I guess a parallel universe does exist.

That's racist.

Sadly, the "Mourning in America" video is accurate. And sadly, our country has been destroyed by the "great experiment" aka weath redistribution. If you don't earn money, you'll waste it...and that's exactly whats happened.

its amazing what obama did to the country i wish ronlad reagen was back in office instead of that joker obama

Elections have consequences. Vote obama out in 2012 and 2010!

I was disappointed the Mourning in America didn't mention the 50,000 troops left in Iraq or the continued wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but that probably would have made people remember Bush's mistakes, even though Obama just made the wars bigger then before. I'd say it's a pretty accurate description of how most people feel today, I'm sure people were relieved after Jimmy Carter left office (with the highest misery index in history) and the Reagan ad was accurate. It's too bad the "greed is good" Wall St. crowd ran America into a ditch for the past thirty years outsourcing our jobs and dropping tariffs. Now we're forced by Bush and Obama to bail them out with our taxes. It should have been apparent after the Plunge protection team was made up Wall St. was a rigged game that govenrment plays. I'd say people are Mourning in America because the people we trusted to run our country from both parties royally screwed everyone over.

Very interesting. The Hope is gone, and all that anyone has left since the Dems have had power is Change. Too bad California in its bankrupt state, still cannot seem to figure out that liberalism hurts.

I remember the first ad airing on tv. It was a very hopeful message. This new ad is a powerful reminder that America's in a period of decline which the Democrats have accelerated. I hope the trend can be reversed in November.

President Reagan, denounced as a b-actor, who was a two time governor of cali, former democrat and president of a union, brought great prosperity and peace that lasted beyond his 8 yrs of service.......Obama, former community organizer and drug user, hailed as the ONE, declared a genius without caveats has brought pain, misery, destruction, enemies and racism to America.......i hope we all hold all those accountable for this terrible mistake and never let anyone forget how bad he(and carter) were for our country...Gbu

It makes you wonder how long people will allow the Obama administration to rape this nation before something is done to either impeach this guy or block all of his policies. It breaks my heart now to see what has happened to my nation.

This is exactly the kind of ad Republicans need to be running. They miss so many opportunities to cast Democrats in the appropriate light. Another good angle would be to take the opening Democrats create with their "extremist" claims about tea party candidates and say "Harry Reid thinks Americans are extremists?" because that's like the pot calling the kettle black.

Impressive...sad, but true

A powerful was Morning in America and then...A full democratic liberal congress since 2006 and Bush lost his 'conservative way'. Now full majorities and a demo President and the liberal agenda went kids in a candy store and the candy is "freeeeeeeeeee" (american tax payers back). I hope for balance in congress...a check and balances needs to be reinstated and spendthrift congressmen, senators etccccc need to be replaced. It goes without saying that I believe the Administrations Agenda an abject failure and I believe to be President you need to represent ALL of Americans irregardless of your own personal view. Obama is the president of only the far left. I need a president who will protect my way of life...and my neighbors way of life regardless of their party. Ok, so you dont agree with me but you can't govern like I dont matter because IM AN AMERICAN TOO. Anyhoo, on that note...i'd also like to say that every lib in Washington right now is worried about the rights of immigrants, terrorists and other foreign entities...but who is worrying about us...the actual citizens and tax payers of the USA. and I'm an immigrant Latina who came to the US in 1980. I did it right and pay taxes. I came here to be FREE and give my children the opportunities of the USA. Sadly, those opportunities and the very freedom i came here seeking is under sands being eroded after an awful storm down the shore. I'm ready for a CHANGE...a change that's hope involved. HOPE is intangible...I want someone that can deliver actions - not pretty speeches. 'nough said.

I was too young to vote for Reagan in his first term. I voted for him in his second term.
The biggest difference between the two advertisements and our national mood then and now.
Reagan's messages were always upbeat, we American's can do anything, we are better at manufacturing than the Japanese, our economic strength is unsurpassed, no we were not perfect, but we were working on becoming better each day, as American's together we can continue to correct the social issues together. Love of country and our neighbors was good. The message of the Democrats at the time became one of America if a failure, America is not great, crime is up, the deficit is up, social justice is not being done. It was all negative.
Now both sides are using negative advertisement, Democrats are shouting how the Republicans are impeding progress, Bush was a failure, it is now bad for people to cling to g-d and guns are stupid "redneck hicks" and do so because Government has failed. Republicans are shouting how the Democrats are leading us down the road to ruin. Love of country is now bad, replaced by some sort of longing to be a part of the third world culture. It has become fashionable to sink into the abyss, with the rest of humanity, rather than rise up out of the stormy seas. Over coming adversity, unless you get help from a government official is now evil simply because you might make someone else feel bad about themselves. Republicans now are just happy to be a part of the insiders to the D.C. Beltway politicians high society party scene, all to eager to suckle on the teats of government redistributed earnings.
In the coming election cycles those who build up peoples sense of self worth will be the victors. Democrats would have to do a 180 to change their message, Republicans would have to get on their knees and beg for forgiveness.

The obama experiment has failed.

"Morning in America" should be spelled "mourning"! :(

Ooops! Sorry - I see it is! :)

The first time I had a chance to vote I voted for Ronald Reagan. I am very proud of that vote. I dated my high school sweetheart, ,we married and we eventually started a family. This nation was strong. We had all the opportunities in the world and life was good. Today I have two children, 14 and 11. I worry for their futures. They won't have the opportunities that were available when I was younger. So many things are changing for the worse. When the democrats took over the house and senate they started ramming policies through that are taking this country down the road of destruction. We are so far in debt we currently can't afford to defend our country if we are attacked. We have so many people out of work, so many students graduating college with no chance of getting a job. Obama took over the student loans and I don't know how I'm going to send my kids to college, but I wonder if that's really what we will want them to do in 3 or 7 years. Go into debt (if we can get a loan) so they can come out and not have a job? Our savings has gone down, our taxes have gone up and will continue to go up and it's getting harder and harder to see how we will help our kids achieve the American Dream.

What better contrast do you need? This shows real hope versus our current malaise and fading hope. Dems will try to say it was Bush, but thinking people know who has controlled both houses ouf Congress since Pelosi and Reid came to power.
This November, rekindle the best of America by voting out the Congressional leadership which is the worst of America.

I think Andrew Malcolm missed his calling, he should be a comedy writer after reading this drivel.

A pretty effective ad, one that seems well timed. The issues that allowed for the first ad were an ineffective President who led the country into high inflation and unemployment (our current President has delayed the inflation issue but most of us sense it is coming) and a Democratic congress whose policies fueled those problems and got us to concede defeat in a war that ultimately led to genocide in those countries after we left. The current administration and Congress has America in mourning and worrying about how the policies being implemented now will continue our journey into a dark night.

Most of the country now knows that we have a child in the White House playing dress-up in adult clothes.

I thought about it, and... FIRST!

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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