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Posted on Feb 15, 2002 Print this Article


At a dinner honoring former President Ronald Reagan on Friday, February 1, CMR President Elaine Donnelly was honored to receive the annual Conservative Political Action Conference Ronald Reagan Award for 2002. CPAC Chairman David A. Keene, who is also Chairman of the American Conservative Union, presented a handsome plaque bearing the inscription: "[To Elaine Donnelly] for exemplifying the Reagan spirit, and for accomplishment in helping to build a better future based upon the principles of the Conservative Movement." The Center for Military Readiness is non-partisan, but in 1980 Elaine Donnelly was a member of the Reagan/Bush Campaign’s National Women’s Policy Advisory Board, and later supervised the volunteer mail room and phone bank operations in the Michigan campaign. In brief acceptance remarks, Donnelly noted that Ronald Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination and election in 1980 not in spite of the women’s vote, as the media predicted, but because of women voters and activists who were offended by displays of extreme feminism and liberalism at the 1978 International Women’s Year Conference in Houston, Texas. That conference, chaired by Bella Abzug during the Jimmy Carter Administration, was preceded by tumultuous state conferences at which feminist leaders tried to prevent the voices of conservative women from being heard. Donnelly recalled that a huge counter-rally at the Houston Astro Arena was largely organized by conservative and pro-life women, many of whom subsequently became activists in the Republican Party. Jack Kilpatrick, then a prominent conservative newspaper columnist, attended the counter-rally and predicted that it was the beginning of "something big." That turned out to be the Reagan Revolution, which caught fire two years later. Elaine Donnelly encouraged young people attending the record-attendance CPAC, held at the Marriott Gateway Hotel in Arlington VA, to take the initiative in controversies of great consequence. She noted that conservative women gain strength from supporting one another, and paid tribute to the late Barbara Olson. She described the attorney and best-selling author as a friend and one of several "brainy blond barristers" who fought for the U.S. Constitution and integrity in government during the Clinton years. Olson was a passenger on the aircraft that smashed into the Pentagon during the September 11 Attack on America. The Ronald Reagan Award was established in 1998 at the 25th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The history and purpose of the award are described on the CPAC website, which can be reached by clicking on the URL listed below. AC021502A
Posted on Feb 15, 2002 Print this Article