A politician’s wife was one of Elizabeth Taylor’s more unusual roles.
Former Sen. John Warner, who was then chairman of the nation’s bicentennial, met Taylor when Queen Elizabeth visited the United States in July 1976.
“I was invited to escort her, at the request of Her Majesty’s staff, to the small dinner party given at the British Embassy,” Warner recalled during an interview on CNN’s “Newsroom” Wednesday. “I say small, but President Ford was there, Vice President Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger. It was quite a party. And we met. And then a week or so later, she said she’d like to come down to see my farms and ride a horse, and that was the beginning.”
They married later that year.
Also that year, at the Virginia Republican convention Warner lost a bid for the party’s Senate nomination. But the winner, Richard Obenshain, died in a plane crash two months later. Warner was then picked to run for the seat.
“Hand in hand together we marched with no staff,” Warner recalled in an interview with MSNBC. “We had nine weeks to put together a campaign,” he said, adding he had “profound gratitude for this extraordinary woman” and her efforts on his behalf. He said Taylor was “my partner in what appeared to be an impossible challenge.”
- The supporting role of political spouse did not suit Ms. Taylor (riehlworldview.com)
- IN MEMORY: Warner remembers Elizabeth Taylor (politico.com)
- POLITICAL ROLE: Taylor’s Washington life (politico.com)