Pentagon Reunion

The New York Sun recently interviewed some prominent Reagan-era defense officials about their recollections of Kathleen McFarland. Many of their memories were getting fuzzy after 20 years, but some were able to comment more authoritatively.

"I don’t think she was a central person that everybody had an opinion about," said Fred Ikle, an undersecretary of defense for policy in the Reagan administration. Ikle then described the campaign of any Republican against Hillary as "a long shot."

Another former colleague called K.T. "a pleasure to work with" and thought that her speechwriting background would help her during the campaign: "If you have the ability to articulate policy in a way that people can understand and respect, that shows you really have a grasp of it…it’s a major asset she will have."

Two of her former colleagues are pretty well known, at least in conservative circles, Frank Gaffney and Richard Perle, and they both had nothing but good things to say about McFarland.

Gaffney reminisced how McFarland prepared Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger for his 1984 Oxford Union debate against a Marxist British historian, E. P. Thompson, on the topic: "Resolved, There is no moral difference between the foreign policies of the U.S. and the USSR," and that thanks to her help, the Secretary staged an upset victory.

Meanwhile, Perle said that her foreign policy acumen would help demonstrate holes in Sen. Clinton’s qualifications. "I hope they get involved in some debates," said Perle, because "the spontaneity can be revealing."


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