Let me finish with a birthday tribute to an American who made a difference.
Her name is Nancy Reagan. She was our country's First Lady during the 1980s and supported one of the major American presidents in our country's history.
Now what I have to say about Reagan is not what many conservatives would say, but it is, I would argue, extremely important.
He saw the opportunity to end the Cold War and took it. He had the sound human sense to know he'd come across someone different in Moscow, a man, Mikhail Gorbachev, who was ready to do what had to be done - open up that system - and let the chips fall where they may, end the crazed competition in weaponry that had put both countries at each other - posed to shoot off every nuclear weapon in their arsenal.
Ronald Reagan, whatever else, saw the horror and ultimate stupidity of mutual assured destruction and took the historic steps to call it off. He and Gorbachev did that and it might not have happened had two lesser people been there - people without an historic sense, people who saw something higher involved that simply - literally - sticking to their guns.
Nancy Reagan, I am convinced by all my hunches, played a huge role in all this - this decision to "make" the decision - this readiness to take on history and change it - to make the deal that ended the longest and scariest war in our history - the Cold War.
Since she lost her husband, Mrs. Reagan has been every bit as good working for the positive role that science can play in human history - working for stem cell research - and for government support for it. She's taken some heat but has kept on coming.
I don't know all that went on between the Reagans when he was president. But instinct and experience teaches me that it was Nancy Reagan who provided the moderating influence - who kept him from a harsh direction on social issues, who honored her own tolerance, even accepting views. I believe that, and on this issue, "I'm" the one sticking to my guns.
So, again, Happy Birthday, Nancy. I once called you a "babe" on TV. Here goes again. Happy Birthday, Babe.