Perhaps because she gracefully suggested a standard of loyalty not so much in fashion today, even many Americans of her generation who disliked her husband admired her. For in the role of First Lady, Pat Nixon endured both triumph and despair in the roller-coaster political career that was her husband's destiny.
She was surely the least conspicuous of modern First Ladies. She was no Eleanor Roosevelt or Betty Ford or Hillary Clinton or Rosalynn Carter. By present standards this cloth-coated First Lady might be seen as too self-effacing by half. Indeed, with all that the women's movement has rightly taught us, and with all the forces of social change sweeping America, it is almost impossible to imagine another First Lady--or for that matter a First Gentleman--of her low profile.