Reading Time: 3 minutes
\"why

\"The

The Honorable Ellen Sauerbrey

Ellen Richmond Sauerbrey is an American politician from Maryland and the former head of the United States Department of State\’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. She was nominated to the Bureau in September 2005 by President George W. Bush.

Recollections of my hero, RonalD Reagan

Sixty years ago there was no such thing as a conservative movement in the United States. When a little-known Senator from Arizona came out with his book, “The Conscience of a Conservative”, he touched a nerve and Senator Barry Goldwater became a candidate for President. His campaign motivated a lot of young people like me to get involved in election politics for the first time. (I carried my precinct for Goldwater)

The highlight of the Goldwater campaign was a televised speech by a TV spokesman for General Electric, Ronal Reagan, who was disparagingly described as a “grade B movie actor. The speech was titled “A time for Choosing” but for decades after, conservatives just referred to it as “The Speech”. It changed a nation and launched a movement. Though Goldwater lost the 1964 election badly, “The Speech” made Ronald Reagan a hero of the newly galvanized conservative movement.

I first met Reagan personally at a YR reception, when he spoke at Towson State College around 1970, while Governor of Californian. The press line was that Reagan was just a Hollywood actor who was good at reading “cue” cards. That night I saw him flawlessly field endless hostile questions. There were no cue cards, just vintage Reagan – in full command of the facts and crystal clear in his beliefs.
I was there in 1976, as a broken hearted convention delegate, when Reagan lost the nomination to Gerald Ford by 60 votes. And I was a foot soldier in the most exciting campaign of my life in 1980, when he trounced Jimmy Carter to win the presidency.

By then I was a freshman legislator and member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC) a fledgling group of conservative legislators. President Reagan hosted us many times at the White House. The year he was shot, the meeting went on with Vice President Bush filling in for the injured President.
A treasured memory was lunch with President Reagan in the State Dining Room when he hosted a group of women legislators. He was always charming and amazingly approachable.

My final private meeting with President Reagan was at his office in California. I was the incoming national Chairman of ALEC and four of us were presenting him with oue annual Freedom Award. Since he was not able to attend our meeting we were invited to video tape our presentation which would be presented at the meeting. I still have the tape of the presentation, which included a large bronze bust of Thomas Jefferson. Four of us sat around a table enthralled with his stories and he took us into a side room to show us the model of the future Reagan library. After about an hour someone on his staff came out with the hook and we adoring fans had to say farewell.

A year or two later, an enterprising reporter managed to get through the security system and crawl through some kind of utility duct in the ceiling over the President’s personal office. What a scary security breach! But I chuckled when I read his description of what he saw in the office and it included a large bronze bust of Thomas Jefferson!.

About The Author

Scroll to Top