Buckley was the founder of National Review, historically, the most influential conservative magazine of opinion. It's rise prefigured the rise of the Reagan Revolution and helped sustain the conservative movement. My two favorite memories of Buckley have to do with debates sponsored by his PBS TV show Firing Line. In the late 70s, a debate aired on the subject of the Panama Canal giveaway. Participants included Buckley, Geroge Will (both of whom took the side IN FAVOR of the giveaway) and Ronald Reagan. The debate was moderated by NC Senator Sam Ervin. The debate is a classic and helped launch Reagan's successful run against Jimmy Carter in 1980. Second favorite moment was in a debate whose topic I cannot remember. However, one of Buckley's opponents was Gary Hart, who by that time had long fallen from grace because of the Donna Rice affair. Buckley had a turn at quizzing Hart. Buckley launched into a litany of positions Hart had taken (nuclear freeze, against Reagan tax cuts, etc) which had been proven wrong by the Reagan years. Buckley kept saying, "does it embarrass you" that you took those positions? At the end, Hart answered quickly, "No, it does not embarrass me at all." Buckley responded, "Well, then, does anything embarrass you?" This was a not-so-subtle reminder of why Hart had been eliminated as a serious candidate. The audience roared with laughter and and hooted. Hart became furious and launched into a tirade about policy, but it was obvious why he was mad. During the tirade, the camera switched to Buckley who was seen winking at Hart.