Former First Lady Nancy Reagan has died. I'd like to think she is now with her husband, her great love of this world. She was an exception to the idea I was kicking around about the influence moderate to liberal First Ladies had on their supposedly conservative husbands. She may have been more to the left, but her dogged devotion to Ronald never would have let her impose such ideas on him, especially if she felt they would harm him or his career. Her devotion was never in question, even by her critics.
But critics she had. For the longest time, it was difficult for me to have any positive feelings about her. Liberals hated her. The press hated her. Her name was a punchline at best. Back in the day, the Democrats hardly ever had to say anything about her, the press was there for that. The horror of wearing expensive clothes to State events during the 82 recession was treated as if she was opening her own chain of death camps. Hence the frustration Conservatives would feel over the years as the press was more than willing to look the other way if Democratic candidates or First Ladies did similar things, like take extravagant vacations during severe economic downturns.
But, that's things for you. Over the years, I came to regard her more favorably. I still wouldn't agree with her on some issues. But she was part of a time that now seems almost magical. A time when presidents and their first ladies were something else, something a step up, something to look up to. Given the field today and the level of discourse and behavior and attitudes, not just by candidates, but by their spouses in recent years, it's not hard to look back at those early days of the Reagan years with a bit of longing. And in hindsight, it wasn't so much despite Mrs. Reagan as because of her.
I hope she has peace and I pray for her loved ones and her as she is taken in by the arms of a loving and merciful God. God bless her, and grant her peace and eternal blessings.