Categories: PJB
      Date: Nov 29, 2011
     Title: Conviction and Courage

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Convictions, born of her upbringing and the beliefs she holds, and the courage to defend them not only in defeat but beyond defeat, make my sister one of the ten most influential conservative women in America.

Early on, Bay went to work as treasurer of Ronald Reagan's first full-fledged presidential campaign and, though that campaign fell short, Bay believed in him and stayed on as treasurer of his new political action committee. Then she became treasurer of his 1980 campaign.

According to CIA director Bill Casey, Bay's management of campaign finances helped save Reagan after his defeat in Iowa. And when he won his 44-state landslide, President Reagan reciprocated Bay's loyalty by making her, at 32, the Treasurer of the United States, youngest in history. A decade out of college, Bay's name was on every U.S. dollar bill.

By 1991, Bay and I had come to believe that President George H. W. Bush had to be challenged. If no other conservative would do it, we would go to New Hampshire and do it ourselves.

President Bush defeated us, 51-37, but, with Bay as campaign chair, we won three million votes and sent a message: Conservatives are not again to be taken for granted.

Bay chaired that campaign and the campaign of 1996, where we won the first caucuses in Alaska and Louisiana and the New Hampshire primary, but ran second to Bob Dole for the nomination. In 2000, Bay gave up her party card to chair our Reform Party campaign.

During her off-years from politics, Bay became known nationally by co-hosting "Equal Time" on MSNBC, had her own national radio show and appeared regularly on the national and cable networks as a social and political commentator. Again, her convictions, her capacity to convey them coolly and her courage in defending them were at the heart of her appeal.

After 1992, Bay created The American Cause, a foundation of which she is still president, which deals with the issues we raised in the 1990s, from economic patriotism to pro-life. In 2000, she became co-chair of Team America, dedicated to opposing amnesty and securing the border.

Truly, Bay belongs in the distinguished company of the Clare Boothe Luce Institute's most influential conservative women in America.