Bruce Bartlett, "Kristol Clear," National Review Online, June 26, 2002.
This critical foundation, which Kristol put together in the 1970s, all came together with the Reagan campaign in 1980. The people and the policies Kristol had nurtured for a decade behind the scenes became Reagan’s advisors and program. Neoconservatives helped flesh out Reagan’s agenda and find a less threatening voice with which to promote conservative ideas, and defended him against intellectual assault from left-wing academics and their friends in the dominant media.
For all these reasons and more, Irving Kristol well deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Bush is to be congratulated for awarding it.