(My bet is on Ted Cruz. He lacks a shame-producing gland.)
And then, she actually had passed.
Of late, Nancy Reagan earned a measure of respect from me, anyway. It's mixed. She advocated in favor of stem cell research, and her kids are good eggs. She'd borne with dignity the treatment of her late spouse as a kind of saint, and after taking care of him through a decade (that we know of, more, I am certain) of Alzheimer's disease--a condition that is rugged on caretakers. She gave the impression of a person who looked frail on the outside, but was exceptionally tough within.
Of course, my memories of her as First Lady are a bit less kind. The Reagan White House hangs over my memories of the 1980's in a weird way--just skim through Google images and you have stills of her with Alf and Mr. T and Gary Coleman. The Reagan years were age 9 through 16 to me--my father supported him when I was very young as a Reagan blue-collar Democrat. By age 16, the Reagans were a joke to me. Reaganomics was always voodoo, but that mindset killed attempts to unionize blue collar jobs and held wages stagnant. "Just say No" was a simplistic slogan that didn't really address why people drank or took drugs. It was about shaming curiosity and criminalizing addiction. (I used to joke that DARE bumper stickers meant "Dare to pull this car over--we're holding".) Iran-Contra disillusioned me regarding state power--and then the shoe dropped about Joan Quigley. These Hollywood assholes who ignored the AIDS crisis so as not to piss off the Moral Majority and them, had an astrologer who advised them on White House business?
It seemed absurd and insulting. Did these people have no grip on reality? But that was minor, after all. A penny in the loafer. After all, Nancy Reagan's husband had been shot, and had bouts of cancer--astrology isn't as irrational as many other things a person could turn to for comfort and assurance. Joan Quigley advised that Gorbachev was a person President Reagan could talk to. His professional national security advisors sold weapons to Iran to fund support for a war in Central America illegally. Who is to say she wasn't as sensible--or more so?
I don't think Nancy Reagan was to blame for the reasons that folks on the left look back in anger about the Reagan legacy--not really. It's just that if we wanted to mark her passing as the passing of an era, that would be just fine by me.
My condolences to her family and friends.