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What Obama and the Reagan of 1982 have in common is a bad economy. Although economic data indicate the economy stopped shrinking and began growing last summer, unemployment is far higher than it was a year ago. The president’s admirers think that as the recovery strengthens, Obama will bounce back, just as Reagan did.

We wouldn’t bet too much on it. What Reagan had that Obama doesn’t was a mandate for a clear set of policies: cutting taxes, rebuilding the military and freeing the economy from too much government, which eventually yielded good results.

Bet you know what’s coming (hint: “moderate” “Republican” editorial “writing”):