We'll Miss You, Betty Ford

Admirers remember a brave and down-to-earth first lady
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2011 10:43 AM CDT
In this Jan. 19, 1977, photo, President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford pause for a moment as they continue packing at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Eddie Adams)
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(Newser) – What more can be said about a first lady who talked on CB radio in the '70s under the handle First Mama? Plenty. Some highlights of the coverage of Betty Ford's death:

  • Eleanor Swift, Daily Beast: "She was a regular person who just happened to live in the White House, and she didn’t trim her sails to satisfy any political constituency. ... She was a more open woman than we’d had in the White House before, speaking out about her cancer, her addiction to painkillers, and her support for the Equal Rights Amendment. Her candor broke political rules, endearing her to women everywhere."
  • Suzanne Murray, the Stir: "She made it okay for women to talk about breast cancer, breast health, and self-exams openly. ... Despite her own battle with addiction, she accomplished more than most of us do in a lifetime, and she made the lives of many—women especially—so much better. She was an amazing, down-to-earth woman who is still an inspiration to us all." Click to read the Stir's 12 reasons why "she rocked."

  • Enid Nemy, New York Times: "Few first ladies have been as popular as Betty Ford, and it was her frankness and lack of pretense that made her so. She spoke often in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, endorsed legalized abortion, discussed premarital sex and revealed that she intended to share a bed with her husband in the White House."
  • Nancy Reagan: "She was Jerry Ford's strength through some very difficult days in our country's history, and I admired her courage in facing and sharing her personal struggles with all of us." That's in a roundup of quotes from AP by President Obama, the Bushes, and others.

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