Former first lady Betty Ford planned out the details of her memorial services in advance of Tuesday's dignitary-heavy event in California. She chose her close friend and fellow former first lady Rosalynn Carter and journalist Cokie Roberts to speak at the event. Ford, who passed away on Friday at 93, even gave Roberts a set of talking points for her eulogy, the Associated Press reports:
"Mrs. Ford was very clear about what she wanted me to say," Roberts said. "She wanted me to talk about Washington the way it used to be. She knew there were people back then who were wildly partisan, but not as many as today.
"They were friends and that was what made government possible," said Roberts, adding that the topic seems particularly appropriate this week when the two parties are divided over dealing with the national debt ceiling.
First ladies Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan joined Carter at the Tuesday service, while Barbara Bush will attend the burial at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday. Bill Clinton was supposed to attend the California service but is unable attend due to plane trouble.