It was early in the Reagan administration–a lot of the older-GOP guard was still a little distrustful of this neoconservative group, wasn’t sure what to make of us, or even to trust us. Some of us were still Democrats after all (including Jeane and myself).
Members of the administration used to give talks to the larger administration, I think they were in Constitution Hall. Jeane’s turn came and I remember feeling a chill in the room…until she took to the podium. She took her glasses off in that wonderful professorial way she had, cleared her throat, and said, “The U.S. has been getting kicked around a lot lately at the UN, and I just want you to know President Reagan and I think that’s wrong. And as long as I’m here, we’re not going to be kicked around anymore!” The place went crazy. All doubts left the room right there and then.
She and I became closer and closer over the years. She was a strong woman who believed in a strong America because she believed strongly in freedom and democracy. She made us all better, she made America better. She was our, America’s, Iron Lady.