"Walters to Take Kirkpatrick's Place at the U.N." was the headline on The Times story (Feb. 9), announcing President Reagan's appointment of Vernon A. Walters to succeed Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as ambassador to the United Nations.
It remains to be seen if anyone can truly carry on the man-size job that Kirkpatrick performed in staunchly defending this country from the barrage of belligerent verbal attacks leveled at us by many nations.
In fact, The Times story said that Walters "is considered less likely to bring to the U.N. post the ideological fervor and combative spirit displayed by Kirkpatrick, who often irritated others in the Administration with her hard-line conservative rhetoric."
Kirkpatrick was a "hard-liner" precisely because that was what it took to cope effectively with the rough and tumble game of international politics played in the U.N. arena.
It is rumored that her mental and philosophical toughness was anathema to some of President Reagan's aides who preferred the traditional State Department policy of taking verbal abuse silently, or, if responding at all, doing so through insipid statements couched in meaningless platitudes.
Jeane Kirkpatrick is a remarkable and distinguished lady who has demonstrated that potency in international affairs is not the exclusive property of males. In fact, she has set an example that will be tough for any man to follow.
This country has lost a valuable public servant in her departure from Washington, but as a teacher of political science at Georgetown University she will continue to be a forceful and articulate voice on foreign policy.
It is even possible that at the 1988 Republican convention she may get the same enthusiastic ovation that the delegates gave her for her hard-hitting speech at the 1984 convention.