Skip to comments.Peggy Noonan: The Ben Elliott Story (What I saw at the funeral)
Posted on 06/13/2004 9:04:38 PM PDT by Pokey78
What was the meaning of the past remarkable nine days? You cannot stop the American people from feeling what they feel and showing it. From the crowds at Simi Valley to the hordes at the Capitol to the men and women who stopped and got out of their cars on Highway 101 to salute as Reagan came home--that was America talking to America about who America is.
It was a magnificent teaching moment for the whole country but most of all for the young, who barely remembered Ronald Reagan or didn't remember him at all. This week they heard who he was. The old ones spoke, on all the networks and in all the newspapers, and by the end of the week it was clear that Ronald Reagan had suddenly entered the Lincoln pantheon. By Friday it was no longer a question, as it had been for years, whether he was one of our top 10 presidents. It was a question only whether he was in the very top five or six--up there with Lincoln and Washington. An agreement had been reached: the 20th century came down to FDR and RWR.
What is important now is that we continue to speak of the meaning of his leadership. Not bang away about what a great guy he was--there are a lot of great guys--but what huge things he did, not because he had an "ideology" but because he had a philosophy, a specific one that had specific meaning. He was the great 20th-century conservative of America. He applied his philosophy to the realities of the world he lived in. In doing so he changed those realities, and for the better. This is what we must pass on.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
Heh, heh. Three totally forgettable people.
What a great article! She has given me my new tagline.
It will be recorded that Ronald Reagan cleaned up the mess that FDR left at his death, restored our time-honored values and put America back on the right path.
Who is "The Hack," and what is his involvement with Reagan and Peggy Noonan? Thanks to anyone who knows.
Just wondering the same thing!
As the article says, "the Hack" and "the haircut guy" are two of Peggy and Ben Elliott's lesser colleagues in the White House speechwriting office, whose names Peg very charitably changed to protect the guilty.
My (almost) 6 year old now knows exactly who he is and what he did.......she doesn't understand it all, but she will.
"No, you'd have to be literate to do that," I pointed out."
Go Peggy!!!! <|:-)~~
My eye went from a grieving Mikhail Gorbachev to Joan Rivers to Jim Billington of the Library of Congress to Oscar De la Renta, from Antonin Scalia to Buffy Cafritz, from Clarence Thomas to Merv Griffin, from Prince Charles to Oatsie Charles.
Forgive my ignorance, but who the heck are Buffy & Oatsie?
I read the article. I would appreciate it if you were not so patronizing.
I was specifically wondering if there was any information the exact reason for the enmity between this individual and Ms. Noonan. While "the haircut guy" is intentionally nondescript, it's clear she wants us to about her exchange with The Hack. So there was most likely some sort of public spat.
Oops, left out a key word...
I was specifically wondering if there was any information on the exact reason for the enmity between this individual and Ms. Noonan. While "the haircut guy" is intentionally nondescript, it's clear she wants us to know about her exchange with The Hack. So there was most likely some sort of public spat.
To be fair, Peggy borrowed this phrase from Mark Steyn.
Sorry about that. I've learned from experience not to assume that everybody actually reads the articles line for line before they post. Even I don't always do it. If I'd really meant to patronize you, believe me, you'd know it.
No idea who either of those clowns actually was, and beyond the level of idle curiosity, I don't really care.
Wow. The part about the Hack is awfully jarring in relation to the rest of the article. What the hell's going on here?
I'll take Reagan.
In his time as POTUS, FDR fought war on two fronts. The economy and national defense. After 9 years of the Great Depression, FDR couldn't get the great engine of US capitalism back on track. FDR couldn't win the economic war with his policy agenda. FDR did lead America to victory in WWII. Beating Imperialist Japan, nazi Germany and the other Axis powers. In the process, the US economy came roaring back to life.
50 years after FDR, Ronald Reagan fought war on two fronts also. Reagan cut taxes, lowered inflation and put the American economy back on track. Reagan won the economic war. After 40 years of military confrontation between the worlds two superpowers, Reagan's initiative of "Peace through Strength" finally won the Cold War. In the process Reagan ended Euro-communism and toppled the Soviet Union. Not bad at all.
Reagan loved FDR.
I loved Reagan.
I have never been SO disappointed in Peggy Noonan.
To use this occasion to settle old scores is tasteless and contemptible.
This should have been about Reagan...not about some creep called "The Hack."
I can't believe she would ruin her moment (I know I was looking forward to her column) with such Clinton-like trash.
Peggy, you let us down.
This is not her 'tribute' article - that was discussed here earlier - this is a 'wrap-up' from her point of view - and, IMHO, she's free to bash anybody she wants.
No, Reagan used this in one of his speeches during the 80s, or even before. Peggy and Mark both got it from RR.
IMHO, she was classless.
I'm a bit disappointed in Peggy. This article didn't move me, but it did seem a good opportunity for her to name drop. Sad, for an old speech writer.
The cortege was coming toward the steps. We looked out the window: a perfect tableaux of ceremonial excellence from every branch of the armed forces. Mrs. Thatcher watched. She turned and said to me, "This is the thing, you see, you must stay militarily strong, with an undeniable strength. The importance of this cannot be exaggerated."
To my son, whose 17th birthday was the next day, she said, "And what do you study?" He tells her he loves history and literature. "Mathematics," she says. He nods, wondering, I think, if she had heard him correctly. She had. She was giving him advice. "In the world of the future it will be mathematics that we need--the hard, specific knowledge of mathematical formulae, you see." My son nodded: "Yes, ma'am." Later I squeezed his arm. "Take notes," I said. This is history.
Margaret Thatcher has a sense of forboding concerning the future. She has repeatedly stated nothing good will come over the long term from the EU and nothing good will come from British participation in the EU.
This is a very, very deeply held feeling of the Baroness.
Is it possible that she coined the phrase as one of his speechwriters? I don't have a bone to pick either way. I really do like the line and would like to give it a correct attribution. I had never heard it before.
For now, I will give it to RR.
Well, the article moved me. Every one of hers does.
And, for what it's worth, every great phrase is "borrowed."
The Bushes don't know everyone. The Clintons knew Hollywood, but Hollywood didn't love them; it just embraced them. The Reagans were loved by the ones who knew them. It's nice when you see this. The last first couple of whom I think it could be said were the Kennedys.
That was something. I don't think I'll ever see anything like that again in my lifetime.
Al Haig has raced before the cameras since President Reagan died, and has done nothing but try to make it "all about him". Perhaps I failed to listen to the rest of what Peggy had to say after I read this.
"Haircut guy" wrote a book, she says.
I'll bet she left enough clues for freepers to ferret it out. I'm always bad at "blind items" like that, though.
A clue on "The Hack" was she says he hadn't written a book but has appeared on tv boasting of his relationship to Ronald Reagan and displaying a picture to prove it.
Tricky to copy and save but did via MS WORD.
I disagree, and say good for her. She didn't identify them, but gave them a good castigation for their actions. If they are who I think they are(and I am pretty certain about who 'Haircut Boy' is), then she is going after them because they are actively working to undermine the Bush administration and the President's reelection chances. Turncoats like that should have the light shown on their actions. Her article is about the power-hungries, who will undermine a team effort to advance their agenda, themselves, or even just pettiness. They can do real damage, and are endangering our country and our future with their actions.
Good for her.
Well, I'm dying to know and I am more than a bit annoyed they were allowed to hang around lo those many years ago.
She really paints a picture of a malevolent presence in the personage of "The Hack", IMO. He must be a real piece of work for Noonan to put this in writing as she did.
In his time as POTUS, FDR fought war on two fronts . . .
50 years after FDR, Ronald Reagan fought war on two fronts also . . .
Add a third front to Reagan's war: The expansion of the federal government, which was started by none other than FDR himself.
I think Reagan was sucessful on this front as well, with all the deregulation he initiated.
"He put his hand on my waist. This was a mistake."
That does NOT belong in a rememberance of Reagan's funeral. It's all about her, and how attractive she thinks she is.
I was disgusted.
Are you willing to say who you think they are?
I am very curious.
Yeah. According to Peggy's description, the Hack inappropriately invaded her space. I am a big fan of Peggy's, almost to the point of overprotection. I was angered by this.
"How attractive she thinks she is"?
What color is the sky in your world? How on earth did you come up with that? Oh, I see--the hand on waist mention. That is NOT what she was saying there, fyi.
My point is that it is seriously wrong to use a retrospective of Reagan's funeral as a tool to take revenge on a sleazebag.
I expected more of her.
Still a wise woman I see in spite of several strokes. Would that the citizen's of this country could hear her message and take it to heart rather than the propaganda of those who would undermine our security for their own personal gain.
Peggy hits yet another home run in one of the most personal and moving pieces yet. She is a word artist. She paints beautiful pictures with language, and I look forward to part 2.
BTW, any ideas on who is the "malignant leprechaun"?
I'm going to keep this story in mind the next time I read a rant about how Bush hasn't gotten rid of every person who isn't with the program as they ought to be.
Thanks Pokey. BTTT
You are free to have your reaction. I'm far more disgusted at the political backstabbers who do great damage to this country and conservatism. Especially when some who attack President Bush are given a free pass and are used by the media if they have 'former Reagan Admin official' in their so-called credentials. THAT is what denigrates Ronald Reagan and all that he fought and stood for.
Not right now, because I am only making an educated guess.
The column was beautiful and moving and soaring and unbearably eloquent until the score settling part, and then it got fun.
This is one FINE LADY!! The panel she was on with C-SPAN made her stand out among her peers, beautiful!
The best were at their most glorious moments!!
Peggy didn't mention President Bush's eulogy. When I listened to him, I wondered if Peggy didn't help him with it because it was so beautiful.