Edie Wilkie will be missed by all those who knew her. Edie’s sparkle was always part of her. She contributed her astute judgments to whatever “our crowd” was working on. With Edie our crowd grew in numbers and the combinations she organized were not always conventional.
Edie Wilkie’s leadership in the Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus contributed to specific changes in policy. Her range was far reaching. Weapon systems issues, military policies in Central America, human rights interventions are all matters that Edie’s leadership influenced our community and office holders.
Edie Wilkie was a peace builder because she had the imagination, creativity, skills and judgment to organize Congress members outside of the formal Committee system. That educated Members, led to creating all sorts of networks that otherise would have stayed unorganized. Edie organized them across party lines. They influenced policy on a whole host of issues. Congress institutionally had a greater effect on directing us away from nuclear recklessness and towards human rights.
Remember Donald Regan, President Reagan’s sometime chief of staff, who thought the skills needed for weapons analysis was beyond a woman’s ability. That lit Edie Wilkie’s fires. Edie did more than analyze policy. She could connect with those who could act on ithe analysis. Those abiliites of hers brought new voices to the table. She did it all with uncommon grace. Her humor lightened us up from our sometimes dour tendencies. That humor added to our understanding of the stakes involved. lesson learned. Dourness delivers paralysis. Humor gives us perspective and helps us act..
We tennis players all were challenged by her ferocious forehand.We hit wildly or lamely but never in. Edie always hit in. Edie’s voice of sanity, reason and laughter leave her luminous qualities with us forever.