As she watched the inauguration ceremonies-on television,–along with the rest of us millions–Shirley Temple recalled (on the phone) her days in D.C. She had been Chief of Protocol at the White House following her stand as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and before her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and her return to the U.S. as Delegate to the United Nations where she once even gave me a tour!
Shirley Temple has been a lifelong Republican– even ran on the ticket for a California Congressional seat (unsuccessful, however). But when we spoke today following the swearing in ceremony for Barack Obama, Shirley said to me, “I think it will be good.” “Are you still a Republican?” I asked, “Of course,” she laughed. But continued to talk positively on the hopes for the Obama regime to help return this country to a healthy state. She had known this list of Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Ford, Bush and Nixon “Very well.” And she said she worked for President Bill Clinton in the (“very small”) protocol office briefly during the period of Presidential transition.
Shirley Temple said she’s completed her third book–but has not yet submitted it to publishers nor is she anxious about it as she approaches her 81st birthday (April 23). She is expecting the arrival of her second great-grandchild. She ended our warm conversation with (mutual) wishes for Senator Ted Kennedy who had warmly greeted her in the State Department Dinner preceding her receiving a Kennedy Center Honor when we also had the honor and pleasure of sitting with her afterwards at the celebratory ball. This is a treasured friendship for us with a remarkable American.