By Jonah Goldberg –
It was arguably Ronald Reagan’s favorite joke. In one version, two kids — one an optimist, the other a pessimist — rush downstairs on Christmas morning. The pessimistic kid gets a new bike and weeps that he’ll probably break it soon. The optimistic kid is presented with an enormous pile of manure and squeals with delight: “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”
In fact, the joke took on a life of its own in the Reagan White House. Whenever bad news came in, someone would remark, “There’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.”
Barack Obama, who always wanted to be a liberal version of Ronald Reagan, has his own version of the joke. It’s not particularly funny, alas. In Obama’s telling, the kid runs downstairs, sees a huge pile of manure and yells, “Yay! Manure! Who needs a pony!”
On the stump and in the recent debates, the president has been taking credit for things that are symptoms of a bad economy and touting them as major accomplishments.