Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick predicted Monday that Kansas Sen. Bob Dole would win today's New Hampshire Republican primary, and also would become the next President.
"I think Dole is going to win. The polls show that he moved ahead on Thursday. It shows him forging ahead," Kirkpatrick said Monday evening in Irvine before addressing the Industrial League of Orange County.
Of Vice President George Bush, who had previously been leading in the New Hampshire polls, Kirkpatrick said that she did not think the Iran-Contra affair had hurt him "significantly."
"But I think his problem is a little different than that. His is a failure to have established himself . . . even with Republicans."
Kirkpatrick, who served as a top foreign policy adviser in the Reagan Administration until her resignation in 1985, said she will remain neutral in the presidential race.
Now a Georgetown University political science professor and syndicated columnist, she said that either Bush or Dole is "likely to be the Republican nominee" and that "either one could beat any of the other Democratic contenders."
But she predicted: "Dole will win the Republican nomination and win the presidency. That's my prediction as a political scientist. That's the first time I have said that."
Kirkpatrick also said that she did not foresee having any active role in the next presidential administration should Republicans retain control of the White House.
An outspoken conservative who staunchly opposes communism, Kirkpatrick said she welcomed the social changes taking place in the Soviet Union.
She said that Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev has welcomed criticism of his government and is now allowing thousands of Soviet Jews to emigrate.
"I believe those are significant changes. It's not massive change, but it's real change, and it should be seen as that," Kirkpatrick said.
She also said that Gorbachev realizes that there must be internal change in his country to bring needed reforms to what Kirkpatrick called the Soviet Union's "stagnant economy."
The former U.N. ambassador, who still supports President Reagan's policy in Central America, said "it was too bad" that the Congress had rejected the President's latest request for additional aid to the contras.
Reagan had proposed sending non-military aid to the contras and placing in escrow a certain amount of money for arms in case of failure of a peace initiative proposed by Costa Rican President Jorge Arias.
"Putting the money in escrow would have been the positive way to encourage compliance (of the peace process) by the Sandinistas," Kirkpatrick said.
Still, she said that the Arias plan is the first proposal for Central America that "is the most helpful and the most hopeful to any regional process, because peace is linked to democracy."