This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", June 12, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let's go to this week's ups and downs.
UP: Nancy Reagan
Once known as the dragon lady by her detractors, Nancy Reagan (search) finally earns the affection of the American people through her courage, quiet dignity, and her obvious and enduring love for her husband.
Here's President Bush Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BUSH: He valued above all the gracious gift of his wife, Nancy. During his career, Ronald Reagan passed through a thousand crowded places, but there was only one person, he said, who could make him lonely by just leaving the room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Nancy Reagan with the help of Mike Deaver (search), I suspect, choreographed this whole week magnificently, to accomplish, I think, two purposes. One, to elevate Ronald Reagan presidency toward the level of greatness in the public's mind, that it, that it deserves.
And secondly, I don't know whether this was intentional or not, but it cemented an image of Ron and Nancy's love story to an almost iconic or mythic status in American history.
I mean, this, this was so well orchestrated that it rivals what Jacqueline Kennedy (search) did in creating the Camelot myth that has made John F. Kennedy's presidency memorable.
BARNES: You know, well, Nancy Reagan has become enormously popular with average Americans, but also with liberals and conservatives. You know, not many people can say that.
Now, why do liberals like her? They like her because they see her as having had a liberalizing influence on her husband, which, in fact, she did. And, she prodded him, you know, to at least have a softer public stance for the Soviet Union (search) and communism.
Of course, conservatives love her because she was married to America's greatest conservative of the 20th century, and actually not only protected him, but she was a part of the package creating him as a great political figure as well.
DOWN: French President Jacques Chirac
One day after voting for the U.N. resolution on Iraq, Chirac blasts President Bush, calling the drive to, to spread democracy in the Middle East ill conceived. And he rejects Bush's call to expand NATO's role in Iraq.
He also skipped the Reagan funeral, another example of gauche behavior, if I could use a, a Frenchism. Chirac's rejection of NATO's involvement in Iraq raises real questions about John Kerry's whole foreign policy approach, which is to get the allies, meaning the French ... to support what the United States wants to do. The French ain't going to do it. It is not in their nature, it is not in their, in, in their geopolitics, you know. And so it's a real problem.
Now, there's one possibility, and that is that, that Chirac could be shamed into supporting NATO (search) involvement in Iraq if the president and the prime minister of Iraq go to NATO and specifically ask for NATO's ... participation.
BARNES: Yes, don't get your hopes up. You know.
President Bush was so desperate at the G-8 summit in Georgia a few days ago to find something that he and Chirac agreed on that he could tout that you know what he turned to? He turned to food, you know, saying that he liked the chow in Paris when he was over there last weekend, and then -- well, listen to this exchange between Bush and Chirac.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I want to thank you for your hospitality. The food was superb, the hospitality warm, and our discussions were meaningful.
JACQUES CHIRAC, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Well, I can tell you that I will ... best cuisine here in America was suddenly on a par with French cuisine, and I've asked the president to convey my thanks to the chef.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARNES: The food, isn't that pathetic?
BARNES: Yes, right.
DOWN: The State of Kentucky
Specifically, the Kentucky state police. One of their planes, a 33-year-old clunker turbo-prop carrying Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher flew into restricted air space around the Capitol during the Reagan funeral procession Wednesday, causing evacuations, mass panic, and a lot of second-guessing about security procedures.
I have, I have a couple thoughts about that whole thing. There really was panic, and we were right nearby in the Fox studio at that time. There was a security glitch. I mean, this plane, its, its transponder didn't work, so it shouldn't have gotten into this, into the secure air space area, and yet it did. And now the F-16s flew in the air. They might have been able to shoot it down had it been Al Qaeda, say. But nonetheless, there was a glitch.
And secondly, officials obviously believed that there was a chance, if this had been terrorists, that this plane could have hit the Capitol and killed all, all kinds of people. That's a problem.
KONDRACKE: There are two points. This was ... this was a test of our homeland security system ... and the result was, I think, an apparent failure ... or at least certainly panic, which, which should not have taken place, which means, which calls for a review.
BARNES: Review? More than that.
KONDRACKE: ... second, secondly, an improvement...
KONDRACKE: ... secondly, it also should remind the House in particular, but the Senate as well, to get off their duffs about the question of continuity in the case of a real attack with a lot of members of Congress present. The House of Representatives refuses to face up to this problem, and it, and it ought to, and it ought to start doing it.
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