Editor’s note: We at HUMAN EVENTS are pleased to bring you this week a series of profiles from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. These are profiles of influential and prominent conservative women who have made a tremendous impact for the better on this great country.
As Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), I am pleased to honor my friend Cleta Mitchell, chairman of the ACU Foundation and a member of our Board of Directors, as one of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute’s “Top 10 Most Influential Conservative Women in America.”
From the opinion pages of the Washington Post, to the studios at Fox News or the left-leaning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on Comedy Central, Cleta is a passionate, articulate advocate for conservative principles and a national leader of the conservative moment.
And, right now, the stakes could not be higher. There has never been a more necessary time for leaders to lead. Approaching three years under the liberal management of President Barack Obama, our nation is in peril—from crushing debt and unconstrained federal spending to a discomforting loss of international political and economic standing in a world more complicated than ever. Thankfully, conservatives have Cleta Mitchell on our side.
Cleta is one of the smartest Republicans I know. I—and a whole host of others—often seek her counsel and guidance on making tough decisions and communicating those decisions to our constituencies. She is a rock-solid-limited government conservative who believes deeply in President Ronald Reagan’s “three-legged stool” philosophy of uniting behind free market principles: a strong national defense, greater personal responsibility and traditional moral values. Her leadership on ACU’s Board has been a key guiding influence for our organization, especially as we look to inspire the next generation of young conservative leaders.
Cleta’s passion for public service and willingness to publicly engage both her allies and opponents began early. She was elected student body president by her classmates at the University of Oklahoma, where she would go on to earn her law degree, and later she was elected to and served for eight years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
As President of the Republican National Lawyers Association, her impressive accomplishments in the field of law, especially in the areas of campaign finance and election law, are unrivaled. Cleta has long been a sought-after counselor, speaker and academic on many of the most pressing legal and political issues of the day. She’s testified before Congress, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Rifle Association, where she now serves on the Board of Directors, and has taught at storied collegiate institutions, from Harvard to George Washington University.
With a track record like that, it is no surprise RedState founder Erick Erickson dubbed Cleta a “conservative trench fighter who has helped more than a few conservatives out, including me.” The American conservative movement owes a debt of gratitude to Cleta Mitchell for her leadership and poise and for always helping us navigate the most treacherous political waters while keeping us true to the principles that have long drawn conservatives together.