Locals: Reagan’s leadership meant much for country, party

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Leaders of Adams County’s Republican Party were saddened by the loss of Ronald Reagan, who they said led the party and the country ably and was truly, as his famous nickname went, the Great Communicator.

Reagan will be remembered most for his hand in historic events of the 1980s, former state Rep. Andrew Ketchings said Saturday.

Those events included, most notably, the fall of the Berlin Wall and some shrinking of the federal government, as well as a stirring speech marking the 40th anniversary of D-Day, Ketchings said.

Email newsletter signup

Fellow Republican leader Pat Dickens also remembers most Reagan’s bringing home hostages from Iran.

&uot;In addition, the economy flourished under some of his policies,&uot; Dickens said.

Ketchings noted that after the Watergate scandal and Carter’s defeat of Ford in the election of 1976, the Republican Party was in need of an able and personable leader &045;&045; and found one in Reagan.

&uot;At that time, both the country and the party were at a low spot,&uot; Ketchings said.

But local Republicans said Reagan won’t just be known for his part in history, but for his way with people.

What made him resonate with people to such a great extent?

&uot;He was so charismatic, for one thing,&uot; Stephanie Punches said, adding that Reagan had knack for inspiring people.

&uot;He had a way with people. He was always so … easygoing, and he loved his country.&uot;

&uot;Perhaps it was due to his movie career, but he had a way of speaking … people felt he was speaking directly to them,&uot; Dickens said. &uot;Nothing about him was artifical.&uot;

Reagan had a way of speaking that made people feel &uot;he was telling them what he thought from the heart,&uot; Junkin said.

&uot;He was an eloquent communicator &045;&045; the Great Communicator &045;&045; and had the ability to tell it like it was in terms people could understand,&uot; Junkin said.

Reagan &uot;was always upbeat,&uot; Ketchings said. &uot;He was always looking toward the future.&uot;