And she enjoyed widespread public support, of course – so much so that, as Reagan’s term ended, she became the first woman to be seriously talked about as a major-party presidential candidate. (She ultimately decided not to run.)
But others in the administration consistently tried to undermine her standing with the president. Noting that the Soviet KGB tried to publicly discredit her through a crudely forged letter, she later remarked: “There was as much disinformation aimed at me from inside our own government as from the Soviet Union.”
Chief among the Kirkpatrick bashers: James Baker, then the White House chief of staff, who planted news stories about her “impulsiveness” and “temperament” in a bid to isolate her politically.
Baker, of course, is also back in the news, having just called on President Bush to turn tail and run from Iraq. Jeane Kirkpatrick, we strongly suspect, would have eloquently demolished the Baker-Hamilton commission’s prescriptions.