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"She does not exaggerate like Jimmy." Rosalynn has reached out of the White House for advice when the President refused to go beyond his inner circle. Her sense of timing is considered exquisite, and she urged Jimmy to keep going in the Middle East shuttle when it looked hopeless. Her demurring has delayed speeches, shoved back policy pronouncements. It was Rosalynn who detected that the de-imperialization of the White House had gone too far, and out came Hail to the Chief said a few indulgences like better food.
"When she decides about a general problem, what is really bothering the people, the President always acts on it," explains a Cabinet member. Within the White House there is almost no criticism of Rosalynn. Outside there are those who do not appreciate the idea of an unelected person wielding so much in fluence. But that is not about to change, for many reasons. Chief among them, says a White House aide, is this: "The President is nuts about her."