the wolf, the elk. he sought the dimensions of lakes and streams studded with ancient cypress and dog days are not the heat of august, but early july when the dog star rises and sets with the sun. he carried his come pus and -- come pass and maps in his head. he traversed the land when it was lush in the warm times and covered with the frost the cherokees described as clouds frozen on the trees. the forests were, indeed, crockett's cathedral. >> watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. ..
this august group assembled here this evening, which has been the repository for so many great speakers over the past few years. tonight we are really lucky. we have a native daughter of michigan, born and brought up in my hometown, flint, michigan, home of the flintstones. she was born in the old women's
hospital that formerly attended governor jim brickley unlike me, women's hospital doesn't exist anywhere, but stare with the school part of her youth that at least school and then unfortunately, her father who worked for gm was transferred several times in places to rochester, new york into the blue villa hills area, it dares older sister, sue fitzgerald. the big thing about our speaker tonight, our author is that sir fitzgerald was the first female editor in chief of the michigan daily. i was really some pain. so she was a pioneer in journalism for women as an undergraduate in college and it kind of fits right in to what i think she sensed when she first
saw elly peterson. it was on tv in 1864 during the republican national convention in sara was just a 13-year-old schoolgirl and she was awed to see if prominent woman on the national political scene, he won from, republican, elly peterson because in those days he didn't see that very often. and elly peterson was first in just about everything she did for the republican party and for women in politics and michigan. and sir fitzgerald was there at the very beginning when elly peterson was just hitting their stride and went on to an illustrious career in journalism at the "washington post" as well
as other newspapers and she took on the assignment of writing a book right inc. is very, very important. and that is a biography of elly peterson, who was some veggie who came out of nowhere in the mid-50s, a secretary in an office in each county, and onward and downward over the next 10 or 12 years became a national republican female figure. sir fitzgerald has recruited all of this in her book. she has done a great job and we are so honored and happy to have her with us this evening to talk about it and i know you've got a lot of questions. i will just give one little quote that maybe willis deal sara sundry little bit although it so well known i will be giving anything away. the introduction to elly
peterson had to put up with and i heard it with my own ears back in the 60s by governor george romney at that time was elly peterson looks like a woman, thinks like a man at work sake of god. and elly peterson have to listen to that over and over and over again. can you imagine george's son is running for president introducing a woman that way? i don't think so. thank you very much. sara fitzgerald. >> thank you for the nice introduction. it's a great privilege and pleasure for me to be with you tonight. i want to thank linda cleary for help in setting up the event and commend the michigan political society for your commitment to preserving this part of the history of our state. in the course of writing a book i was able to make use of several videotaped james lynch collection that bill ballenger did back in 1995.
these are indeed he gets not only to historians, but future generations of michiganders. it's gratifying for me to speak here tonight, but also a little daunting. it is daunting because i am talking about a woman who is by all accounts i reviewed a very good public speaker. george gateway brickley, her protége described elly peterson speeches display. she's dealt in reality but had a way of making an audience laugh along way. and in the end she really came at gunpoint and sand to not dance. she wasn't the delicate type. i think this major likeness followed by powerful instruction all the more powerful. everyone who knew peterson called her elly. that is if they didn't call her mother. the headline writers in the mid-1960s that l.a. to us and allie did that and the readers knew exactly who they were talking about.
one sure many of you knew her as elly and i don't think for a minute she was a difficult or that, i'm not going to set diminutives familiar form tonight because i ain't elly peterson deserves to be taken very seriously. you would never say that peterson was guilty of taking yourself too seriously. she was introduced as a speaker so many times during her career that by the end she had developed a set speech built largely an amusing and it's about the ways in which she had been introduced. and one women's club luncheon the president turned and asked, do you want to speak now or let them enjoy their lunch a little longer? at a median of a young republicans club, the membership chairman receded petersons beach with the rising sales pitch that concluded if we give our members, we can get better speakers. at a rotary club, district chairman summed up by saying why there is a name in this audience who isn't familiar with her.
in kansas, nancy found that by saying they give you the biggest woman in the republican party, elly peterson. in recent weeks i wondered whether chris christie has ever heard that one. a favorite introduction provided by her good friend, wendell hobbs, republican leader from ann arbor. he said, there goes one of the finest women that ever walked the streets. the audience laughed and hobbs apologize. peterson was quick to reply that was the nicest things said about me lately. she actually incorporated the quote into the subtitle of the memoir she later wrote published for family members. there were other times when it's probably more challenging for peterson to keep sane as she sat on the dials. she recalled an occasion where she delivered a speech at a men's club and she and her sister were the only women present. they turned toward that now mrs. peterson, we hope you will not give the surprise beach at
that only covers two points, but instead launch into your kernel speeches that covers every day. to quote george rodney use to introduce elly. robbie she recalled, that for years it was like waving a red flag in his face and i always answered as politically as they could. i think like men think a state. if i were introducing elly peterson as a speaker tonight, i would focus on her many firsts. she was the first woman to run for u.s. senate from michigan. that was back in 18 xt for what they were only two women senators, both of whom had entered congress when they were appointed to fill the seats of their latest news. she was the first woman to share a state republican party. in 1965 people around the country thought she was the first woman to chair in a state
party. this was at a time when the chairman of the republican national committee would not permit a female vice chair to fill in if the male party chair could not attend the meetings. it was at a time of the finance committee of the michigan republican party held at meeting at male only clubs. in 1976, peterson was recruited to be cochair at era america, coalition of dozens of national organizations that were to ratify the amendment. the same year she served as deputy chairman of the president for committee, which according to my research was the that time the highest professional job that a woman had ever held in a major presidential campaign. in recent months of often announced but let me to write this book. i think the answer speaks to them portions that hubris and hair with can still play in our lives. as bill mentioned how my group in michigan, child of parents who considered themselves to be moderate republicans.
elly peterson came to my attention when i was watching television coverage of the 1964 republican national convention. that your peterson was about to step down from her first stint as assistant chairman of the national committee. she was running for the u.s. senate and was about to address the republican national convention in prime time. on this particular afternoon, she was being interviewed by a network television correspondent and i was struck by her member to this day because it was so unusual to see a woman on the national political stage but then i was very proud she came from my home state. they continued to follow peterson's career from afar, during the 1970s that i attended the university of michigan and she began to take a leadership role of the women's movement. as fate would have it, but interlaced peterson moved into the retirement community in north carolina when a parent led and i had the great pleasure of finally meeting heard%.
a decade after that it reached a point in my life where i was looking for a new project that would be intellectually challenging personally satisfying. i decided that trying to capture the life of this relatively unknown political pioneer may be the answer. and if i needed another notch comedy came from the words of david roeder, the dean of washington political journalist with whom i had worked at the "washington post." early in my research i came across a column david wrote in december 1970 when elly peterson stepped down as assistant chairman of the republican national committee. he said of her, it is accurate to say that ability is that of the national chairmanship were it not for the written exterior of both parties have erected around that job. certainly her organizational talents and interviews with respect to an her advice is sought after among her colleagues the party has anyone in the past decade. broder continued, the role of a
woman in politics is an inherently difficult one, especially if her forte is organization. one basic problem all talented women faces tendency of the parties to shut them off to some preserve have tea party relevant piece called women's activities. i should note that the different political context for the term t. party than the one we have today. berger went on, mrs. peterson resisted stereotyping of a sheer energy incapability won her right to operate at the full range of talent. her colleagues back in michigan also clearly agreed. in 2003 when members of the michigan political history society were asked to vote on the person who had been the best chair of the state political party over the past 50 years, herding came out on top. still, elly peterson was a member of the greatest generation of women who knew the way to get ahead in a
professional world that was still dominated by men with stuart very, very hard, be very good at what you did into a large extent keep your mouths shut about the indignities you were forced to endure along the way. elly peterson didn't set out to build a career in politics. she said it would've made a much better story if she could've said her family debated politics around the dinner table, but she said it would also be a big fat lie. she readily at knitted she drifted in to the republican party because they are friends for republicans and they put on the best parties. she noted jason in 1830 we would have been in issue if she met when face to face. she intended a secretarial school in chicago discovered she loved everything about being a secretary. she loved people, loved love to sell, love to work as an office. she was successful she later reflected because she understood the organization and that was really made basic skill.
she once told a writer a good secretary can learn the business has no other position can be during world war ii, peterson joined the american red cross and served with the army field hospital in england, france and later germany. looking back she felt those experiences were the source of her strong sense of a treatise on, but they had not had much impact on political career. those experiences undoubtedly shaped or more subtle ways. she was able to observe firsthand how to lead men and women into battle and keep them motivated when they were weary and discouraged. perhaps it is no surprise she often referred to her campaign workers as the troops. can you fluctuate to the mound of wartime france. it was no big deal to crisscross michigan's upper peninsula and the dead of winter as she did so many times. after her wartime service, married, divorced and then read
behringer has been come to peterson lived in charlotte michigan. here made 30 she gave up giving children but kept active with jobs and volunteer work. in 19671 of her best friends persuaded her to try to maintain an interview for a job as secretary to the new chairman of the michigan republican party come awards for good. she was hired on the spot. peterson's recollections of their officer characteristically feminine. it was indescribably filthy, filing had accumulated for months on top of files covered tables, floor and everything was covered with dust and mixed with old newspapers and other junk. but larry said he needed me, he wasn't kidding. he needed me and 14 other potential but to clean the place and get it in working order. so peterson pitched into straight.
overnight she became receptionist, secretary, typist, mail clerk, janitor that needed fixing that. it was the michigan republican party. at the end of her first year she was on the road nearly full time. in those days she recalled people organized every precinct, or fascinating that anything had ever done in my life. from those days came the subtitle of my book, mother of the moderate. peterson was 43 when she went to work as secretary for michigan republican party and linda nearly seven years younger. at the time there is a popular radio comedy show called the aldrich family which began with henry aldrich responded to his mother's nagging by saying, coming mother. he began responding to peterson that way in the name start. in the course of my research i can't too many men and women coming 30 some in this audience
who worked for peterson and described how she took a mother like interest in their lives, gives invaluable advice but also set high standards for them. late in her life she said there was still 15 to 20 people who began their letters a rating coming to your mother. her political children included christine todd whitman, former governor of new jersey and administrator of the environmental protection agency and many others. in recent weeks it has occurred to me that my folks might sell a few more copies or received more media attention if i use that kind of words found in the title of some other recent books like remote and shuffle maker or even something a bit more setup like how to talk to a moderate if you must. perhaps they should've used a provocative bit tongue-in-cheek subtitle that peterson used on your own self published memoir, confessions of a woman who walked the street.
titles like that but ultimately so a few more books, but i don't believe they would've been keeping with the spirit and philosophy of a woman like elly peterson. that's not to say she couldn't fight harder even enjoy bob if she thought the cause is worthy. i believe her political fights are conducted on a higher plane than political battles are fought today. it was clearly a different time in our political history. in the 1970s there was a time when peterson could hold a high ranking job gerald ford presidential can't pay them less carpenter could work actively for opponent jimmy carter and could happily shared a home in northwest washington during the final month of the 1976 campaign. peterson ran a hard-fought campaign against democratic senator phil hart in 1964, but still the two were retained great respect and affection for each other. attended the party to celebrate a peterson's retirement from the car in the 1970 and told the
reporter that the democrat sheila kelley's council will continue to go unheeded. as her was dying of cancer six years later the two of them still exchanged affectionate notes. so mother, so many protéges used when they addressed her for the subtitle of my book. the mother of the moderate capture the raw peterson played, but in the ranks of the national republican party. much as been written over the past two years about the particular challenges women can face when they seek public office. he has shown that women more than male counterparts need to be asked her courage to become candidates. that was in 1964. governor george romney were concerned to win reelection when
goldwater was at the top of the republican ticket appears to be recruited peterson to run against phil hart, no one in the process she would do if she could keep the party unified that year. despite her defeat, peterson ran a credible campaign. however, press coverage of the campaign was relegated to the women's pages in late in the damages that would make us cringe today. for instance, an editorial was headlined, millenarian states rain set peterson was quote, a straight from the shoulder political pro who will be as hard to deal with as a wife who wants a new dress. another reap porter wrote that quote, the rustle of political petticoats will set the scene in another story said that peterson had been your snack from the former president eisenhower tucked firmly in her handbag. peterson recalled at the time
such comments didn't bother her much because there wasn't much she could do about them. but later in life as her feminism assured, she recognized that denigrating stereotypes on which they were based. i believe one reason why peterson is not better known outside the state of michigan because there were so few journalists covered politics at the time. it's easy to forget it was not until 1971 cup of the year after peterson retired from the republican national committee that women were first admitted into membership of the national press club and allow to come down from the balcony to cover news maker lunches. i once asked peterson if she could get a fire moment, a term coined by an article in the magazine in its early days to describe the episode in a woman's life when a feminist is awakened. peterson knew when not occurred. romney managed to win in 1964,
but it was not a good election for the rest of the republican ticket. the tie when a woman of her chair to state republican party, prominent republicans push romney to recruit your sin for the job. among later at the convention, she was waiting to go out on stage to accept her new position when max fischer, the industrialists who served as a party committee pulled her aside. he congratulated her on her new job, but of course we can't pay what we paid her predecessor, your opponent. he then told her she would be paid $15,000, which was $6000 plus an alley entrance elly had received. she later knowledge that she had lied about crime, but on the other side of the curtain, the convention delegates are growing restless and she knew her party mediator, so she went straight to the podium to deliver the
reporters described as quote an emotional speech for party unit. then she announced she was donating $6000 of her own salary to help retired the party's better-than-expected delegates to make contributions as well. nobody really she would not get money in the first place, not the root orders covering the event, not even her male deputy. doses in the diplomacy were such that it was many, many years to identify by name. still the episode. at her. how dare they think i'm supposed to save the party she told an interviewer that her life. they lost everything in 1864. they're the ones who thought i could do it is not worth the money because i'm a woman and i think that really was the first time i began to observe things of that kind. it bugged me then and it is me to this day when they put women down like that. i'm sure that experience into the leadership of the national
women's political caucus and into the leadership of those equal rights amendment. peterson came to realize she herself had experience sex discrimination in a profound way. early in her political career, peterson observed women were happy to perform the mundane detail of chores that she felt that were unwilling to do. by 1972, year after the founding of the political caucus, peterson fell women's attitudes are changing. in an article she wrote for the magazine at the american association she said, we are through, through stuffing envelopes, reagan's whereabouts come to answering phones looking labels, through withal the workday meal will dare not touch. this will come as a shock for many candidates and managers.
for too long women have been doing 80% of pickup work in politics and getting little and things besides a form letter, wiltse corsage and a condescending they got for the ladies from the candidate who speaks in the platform while we are in the pit. finally we have the courage to climb where we belong, demanding not only to do the chart but also be a part of it. in circles there's a well-known quote that goes well behaved women seldom take history. for most of her life coming elly peterson was well behaved at leasing of public announcements. that was what was expected of women of her generation. her personal papers reflected that the kids make headlines in the late 1860s and 70s she was turned off by the type to accept the militant members. but when she got to know women on a more personal level, she developed a greater understanding of people and appreciated the experiences they
shared his women. as peterson aged it was approaching her 70s, three things happened. first, her political parties turn to the right. from her days in the michigan republican party she argued the only her party could win was to seek to include as many voters as possible including blacks and women, but now she felt the party strategy was based totally in writing not to save the population. she was very distressed by 1980 the republican party had abandoned its history of support for the equal rights amendment. is that many persons are surprised to learn most of the 20th century, republican party had was supported more strongly than democrats had because the democrats were concerned about the amount of potential a captive workplace protection laws. a letter to identify more strongly with women's issues than the issues increasingly
defining her party. finally, she was old enough she no longer have to worry about whether she was burning any bridges behind her. there were no leadership jobs in the future so she could feel free to speak her mind. all of these factors culminated in her decision in 1982 to lead a group of moderate republican women to publicly endorse democrat james blanchard would be made against richard hadley, the conservative republican for governor of michigan. later on she described it as a protest, a statement, a scream in capital letters to be heard and considered. peterson's decision drew the press coverage she hoped it would generate an angry letters from some quarters of the republican party, but she did not retreat. she told the detroit free press, i gave my 15 years of my life 24 hours a day to build a broad-based republican party
could define now we are reversing all that, i guess you have to say i'm a michigander and a woman before a republican. former massachusetts governor but romney has emerged as one of the front runners does not the front runner for the republican presidential nomination for 2012. much of peterson story is a story of george oliver romney, and experience. one of the things i found was poignant in her life is how she had the wrong a struggle to preserve their friendship as a political views to burst in the late 1970s over the women's movement of the mormon church as they fought over issues such as ratification of the era. many have written about george radisson failed presidential campaign with export background background, but i've seen no mention of that at his mother also sought statewide office running against bill harper the width of the view from michigan
six years after elly peterson did. having had two parents who had her statewide office and distinction that i believe candidate romney may share only with the cardigans of missouri. george romney first came on the political scene after elly peterson had gone to work for the republican party. she recalled she first met the michigan constitutional convention marked its 50th anniversary this year. peterson got to know lenore romney when the two began making appearances in small towns around the state, speaking in support of the constitutional revision. when george romney would the governor, peterson was assigned the job of managing the appearances. she wrote in her memoirs she did not accept the assignment with a great deal of joy as she got her own credentials rated more than another hand hold position shepherding the way for the candidate. elly peterson lived by if you
can't say anything outside the house so those were expressions of true annoyance. she developed a great deal of respect in a close friendship particularly after mrs. romney wowed the link at a price, or instead she pretty much as peterson to set up for her at the start of the campaign. peterson traveled over with the state in the 1962 campaign. local women handle the details of lenore romney strips, raising me by selling everything that was sellable. that was a bit of foresight quote was in seventh heaven doing the selling. in her memoir, peterson describes how george from his strong convictions could be a source of amusement or the rest of his family. she recalled on one trip near traverse city they consulted maps that seem to suggest there was a road that looked as if it
overwater. he kept asserting the road had to be there because it was that in the not. finally, his mother said exasperation, you know good and well a road will not go overwater musters a bridge. >> that's right. god is here. george romney of course not to get get elected as governor and later recruited peterson this ticket made in 64 and state party chair in 1965. peterson did not buy her own account play a major role in romney's campaign and the republican presidential campaign. as far as i can tell, she did not complain of course it was good to have deniability with things did not again go well. i think she couldn't help but be disappointed she did not play a more prominent role, considering how she was recruited to the state party chair three years before the considering the role she played in engineering republican statewide victories
in 1966, the areas that demonstrated to the national pundits that george romney could not topple the other republican back in the day would not listen on port situation. the elly peterson waited until she was back then presidential campaign still limited to the guys. it would be another nine years before he bombed and was installed in a job as high-ranking as a deputy campaign chairman of a presidential campaign and that would turn out to be peterson herself. peterson had a front row seat on the fallout that may george romney statement he had been brainwashed via tom at the u.s. military in our diplomats there. out of that romney was in europe for his father's presidential came in, one can appreciate how his father's deflating experience help shape the way he responds to questions of this presidential campaign.
as a former journalist i found it interesting to reflect on how george romney said. played out in the nationals aged back in the days before 24 hour cable news shows and the world wide web in twitter. i wonder whether the ongoing scrutiny of a single political gap word comes back and compared to what seems to be are copied a kind of culture now in which every 24 hour news cycles seems to produce a new one for a different candidate. back in 1967, they continue to resonate for a month. i do not ever but i will share with you now. by the time the retired club held its fall dinner in 1967 approximately the same place in the current election cycle we 16th of the club's republican skits were direct to that george romney. i'll spare you my singing, but you're the worst to one set to the 1930s to, did you ever see
a tree blocking. the drivers via brainwashing? while i did. with a plunger in the dust, splashing or i did. did you ever get your foot cottage or not just like me and gulping hard find you choke on your knee products the final verse one, did the white house backing a bright right out of your view while the thoughts that have wandered in the brain that gets laundered it make it pretty tough on you. romney continued to reduce home with his closest supporters in putting peterson by pulling out of the race for the first primary in new hampshire. as lenore romney's 1970 campaign is a painful time for peterson while she got lenore romney had many kids come she felt that romney's campaign was doomed from the start and try to convince her not to run.
she felt mrs. romulus running only because import now politicians including your house and wanted her to make the race and that would become the nutley clears the the campaign went on. she also did not wonder for them to feel as you -- he had during her own sacrificial camp in six years before. but once lenore was committed, peterson tried to be supportive, taking time off from time in washington to campaign for her. on election night, peterson owned and secular versus invert another note later on. lenore responded with gratitude, it helps to know there's others who give their all because some things needs a terribly much. the political highs and lows that peterson shared with the romney is a decade later all the more painful. the romney's have become opponents of equal rights amendment argued that ratification of the amendment would lead to marriage is in the
further disillusionment of the american family. peterson's frustration with culpable as she converted letters with michigan first lady, helen ellicott another feminist friend about how she should respond to them. finally in 1880 peterson's frustrations boiled over. she wrote the former governor that i am in the title because of the many inequities they had in my political career. she had been recruited to run for the senate and had to beg for the financial support she had been promised. she recalled how she had been told she was the only one who could solve the michigan republican party's problems when i was too far down the road to back out, she was told she wasn't worth the money paid to other state chairman because i am a woman. there were so many women every day in politics and business is the same leaves. and then in typical elly peterson fashion she wished romney and his family best
wishes for the new year. romney replied he was sorry about her experience as your quote, if it was nightfall, please forgive. years later, peterson recalled when she returned to michigan as she grew older she would always have lunch with the romney but it was never quite the same shoe recall because we couldn't talk about equally in the end the choice. so instead they cut it up people they had no. i think their experience is a familiar one for many of us today. badly politics have become so polarized an emotional but it becomes very challenging to me 10 relationships with persons with whom we disagree. how many of us have learned we should avoid talking about politics with the number of friends and family mom verse. i spent three days interviewing elly peterson when she was 92 it a lot about politics and watch several hours of cable news television shows together.
so when i am asked what she would get about the state of our politics today, i feel pretty confident when i answer. i know she was very concerned about how campaigns had come to be dominated by money and a large sums required to be raised to not to campaign. she would be concerned about increased polarization of politics and inability to forge bipartisan solutions. i thought it was noteworthy former first lady betty ford have asked cokie roberts to speak at her memorial service and wanted her to recall the days when members of congress from opposing parties could still be close friend. elly peterson was the late part of that role as well. finally peterson was a strong believer in participation of women in politics and government over her lifetime she watched as the number of women serving in congress went steadily upward. the trendline has leveled out and is a legislative level headed downward.
for peterson this would have been a major disappointment. peterson expressed her to enter personal paid hers that was the last formal speech she ever made you she delivered remarks about 20 years ago to the men's club of the retirement community where she lived with her parents. she begins by saying she's independent and was not there to espouse the views of any party or candidate. she concluded by saying, politics has changed the model for the better. today is too much about money, raising of that, spending a bit and worst of all prevails a tone of insensitivity, instability and mean-spiritedness. i believe the surest way to political oblivion for a party is through intolerance in women, minorities, intolerance of people who deviate from one narrowly defined point of view.
there is strength as a party, community and nation and in our tolerant of fairness to others life path to be the rational human beings we all aspire to be. may we all find our way gracefully and passionately down this path. thank you. [applause] i think we have time for a few questions. >> i have a question about the militants because back in the 60s, though milliken was a fairly minor state and she was elly peterson politically almost a creation of george romney at a high level after she ran for the senate, he was the one who has to become chairman. how did her relation ship with
the milliken's evolve and develop because they became quite close as you know? and ironically, her relationship with romney who is really the main republican figure withered away in the problem you describe. >> does question was to talk about her relationship with the milliken and how that evolved it contrasted with the romney is. one thing that impacted her political relationship with bill milliken was the fact she moved to washington with romney or she was going to move with romney in 1969 and the impact to her about a job in the house in urban develop it and she went back to the national committee and work with rogers morton. for bill milliken's first years as governor, she was washing 10 and then of course after 1970, retired for a more formal political roles. but at the same time, how it can
can -- how would milliken became very close to the battle of the equal rights amendment. when allie and liz carpenter decided to step down as cochairs, they recruited how legit country and how would milliken to take place in so she can to need to have a very close relationship. i think she had a great deal of respect for bill milliken as a politician and he was clearly in the same moderate republican old she was out of. any other questions? or comments people want to share from your own experiences? go ahead again, bill. >> i gather -- [inaudible]
idea mark i thought you captured so well how it felt to see the little article even if it was on the women's section about her and what she's doing. >> i think you're right. the comment was about if you're a woman in her 60s or so elder women as well that she caught your attention. like i said, the headlines could refer to allie and you knew who she was talking about, both in terms of percentage gain which was groundbreaking book the chicken and nationally at the time. and as well when she became the state republican chairman, one of the things that interested me when i went to her papers was how many, if for instance the michigan ap or upi reporter would do a profile. it would run in papers all over
the country because it is considered unusual. it was also right around the time -- this is more in to that release had these that newspapers are starting to try and push it there, traditional women's sections to a more features section, the post for instance used to call their section for and about women and it became the style section about 1970. to the transition is happening in journalism at the same time. one of the things that was interesting to read the letters from women who really got excited about her came in to work a minute and allie would comment both to me and in her memoirs that one of the things that was challenging for her if she knew she was never going to win, but she had to be seen a positive view that she could. one reason she thought she had to with so many people were excited about are came pain and working very hard for it.
>> i noticed in one of the reviews of your book that keith bolen who was one of her early field operators as republican state chairman said about her and you have a trespass eloquently in your talk, she left the republican party. the republican party left her. how accurate do you really think that is quite say that utah about the republican party took a turn for the right, but i talked to allie peterson in the late 60s and she was already can do at the administration was too far to the right to conservatives. and today, richard nixon probably isn't acceptable at all to moderate republicanism. so how much did she actually change her views or do you think she was absolutely pretty much rock solid, the same in her
philosophical outlook in ideology from the time of larry wendover in the late 50s all the way out until the unquiet >> no, i think she evolved clearly in the 1960s, she was concerned about right-wing elements of the republican party, both in michigan and on the national level. one of the reasons why she was there about the possibility to become president of the national federation of republican women. i think the banshee champion during the romney rockefeller, bill scranton, that kind of mold. she says when nixon ended at that candidate, she was still a gung ho republican and she worked hard for him. i think during the years -- the first years of this president be, she was very frustrated because on the one hand as the
assistant chairman and trying to get women time jobs in the administration, trying to be a liaison with the state party leaders, she found the nixon white house was running their own game and that frustrated her because i think she felt we can all work together to build the republican party and it wasn't working the way she envisioned it. i think she came out of michigan where she had started the detroit action center and she had this vision of trying to take that concept nationwide and a view that was still a point in our history where the republicans conceivably attract a certain percentage of the african american votes more than they do today. she thought this would be one strategy towards making it more of a big tent party. so i think it was gradual and probably has her feminism at short, that gave her perhaps issues she could more definitively hang her hat on and
if possible, that if that hadn't happened she just would become more politically inactive though she got older. i do find as i've gone around there a lot of people who, in say, i was the kind of republican and i miss it and i don't feel the party is that way these days. one of the things she said to any of this was that about me seven, which was a tough election in a number of people that she liked it a lot got feet of that year. she felt one of the big differences between moderate and people on the right was that moderates in between elections tended to go back to their regular lives. they didn't have the same kind of passion that she thought the right wingers didn't miss me the difference in how the party involved because the moderates would move onto other things seem to have the same kind of
passion. she also felt moderates could get passionate about a particular candidate, the romney rockefeller, but that had less support for ongoing ideology compared to the right wing. >> did ms. peterson never share with you what she thought it earlier conversations here that with family and friends we don't often -- we don't engage in conversations anymore. we kind of avoid politics like religion and those types of subjects. did she share with you why she thought that it changed over timehow white people and friends and family could not discuss it in a civil manner? >> the question was about whether elly peterson shared with me her views about waiting in recent polarization had
occurred. i think it has been fueled by the media culture we live in now at one of the contributing areas is frankly the last couple of rounds of redistrict daemon which particularly in congress and the state legislatures, political districts are being drawn to the candidates can be assured of election -- republicans will put them in their districts of democrats and this is how will divide the world. what it means of the politicians and those kinds of situations because they are playing for their base, it makes them take more extreme positions than the word if they hadn't know what to write those better balance store not chosen. i think it is unfortunate that the way her media has developed in the past few years but the good news is you have your
voices. the bad news is you have your voices and people feel they can get to be heard if sometimes unfortunately they been more strident. the test we have more media outlets now, it also means we can send to follow media outlets we can to agree with. we have less of a kind of -- the big media, and experience that we did way back in the 50s or 60s or 70s when i was growing up. so all of these things contribute. when elly and i talked about it, she was concerned enough for us were watching cable news or and you can see the extremes of that particular medium has provoked a novice contributed. but i think what it does if it increases the emotionalism to politics more so than rational discussion and that is one of the things that makes it more
difficult. >> i am curious, this elly peterson have the support -- did they work together? >> after the question was elly's friendship with marty griffin. she writes about this when she went to work for the republican party. the michigan democratic party seem to be on the ascendancy with both its people excel her and martha griffiths in her house when emile stabler. so she viewed her as a talented competitor. but they became close later in their lives and griffey succeeded in getting the era discharge from the house judiciary committee during the time when elly peterson was assistant chairman of the republican national committee and when elly was in washington was the first time women were
one of his generals but is it exit. and so she hosted a reception to mark the occasion and because she viewed it as a victory for women rather than of the tree for republicans commissioned by the counterpart of the democratic national committee to share in this reception. i bring this up only because the date the event happened was because it was the day i passed the house they were very surprised how fast they pass congress, which caught everybody by surprise. suddenly they tell the states passing, following into line and it was just the last these states that gave them fits. and of course, griffiths was blanchard's running mate when she came out and endorse blanchard, so she would've had an at the time as well. the >> is this your first book?
>> this is my first nonfiction book. i have written a couple of novels. if you aspi which is harder, a novel or not fiction book come out with a nonfiction because you cannot make it a. [laughter] first i'm going to take a little break, but i will say that i like to think that my experience as a novelist help in writing this book because you learn a lot along the way in terms of timeliness taurean pacing and trying to understand a character and i hope that's well and in this book as bill ballenger talked about your startup is the michigan daily. would you give us an overview of your career and what led you to the "washington post"? >> the question was about how my career have evolved. i started off as a journalism major and went in again working on the daily my second semester in college and had a bunch of different jobs there and bill ended up as editor-in-chief.
i was very fortunate in that i had two summer internships during my college years. one of them was a dow jones newspaper fund, copyediting internship and i spent that summer at the journal, which was a night is paper that then lead to report in internship for next summer on the "miami herald" and is a great summer to work on the "miami herald" as it was 1972 when both of the national political conventions were in miami for the great front row seat on politics. but yes as i can determine its not what elly peterson had intended. after college i started my career in the st. petersburg times, first as an editor and then followed my future husband to washington and worked for four years on national journal magazine and about 15 years of the post as an editor and for about five years as a new media to develop or they are active in the early days of online
services and left the post in the midnight tonight is the nephew of the in-between. so i decided to pursue this project when i found a consulting firm he founded sold my share to a part or in i decided i was too young to be retired at age, i needed something to keep me busy, so this is a good project. thank you. [applause] thank you very much. >> for more information, visit the publisher's website, press.umi ch.edu and search elly peterson. >> with more than 12,000 members at the professional air traffic controllers organization walk off their jobs with the federal aviation administration on august 3, 1981, one shrewd analyst noted their illegal
strike had been in the making almost since the moment their union was founded in the 1960s. he was the inevitable choice for this journalist because most of the 12 year existence appears to have been preparation for this moment. the controllers had such a long history of militancy before 1981 that it was not surprising that some ways to stage a carefully choreographed and planned nationwide strike against the federal agency. and yet the journalists was puzzled that white-collar workers were what this journal is called a keen appreciation for the professionalism of their calling. the workers like this would strike against the government. newspaper columnists, jimmy breslin made a similar observation as he watched strikers and their families
gather on long island to rally two days after the straight began august 5, 1981 at precisely the moment when they were about to be fired for defining a deadline set by president ronald reagan to return to work. breslin wrote, at the moment they were supposed to be fired, and order of the president, these members of suburban white america, all these air traffic controllers on their wives and children 18 silent and now their fists shot up into the air and with the surprise column is called a stokely carmichael salute. the 60s were long gone rezulin mused, that year he wrote quote, dirt teen years more later suburbanite american catches up here, where people from north babylon, long island