Likewise, she's already enhanced the image of women in government, say strategists who note that the public has viewed crime-fighting as a male domain. "We will not elect a woman president until people are comfortable seeing a woman in that role," Ms. Lewis says.
Ms. Reno is already asked by her audiences whether she has thought about running for president. She smiles, saying she never looks beyond her current responsibilities.
It's a politically savvy answer.
And as she signs autographs and receives standing ovations, she says of her current star status, "I know how fragile that is."
JANET RENO'S VIEWS
Gun control: "In order to possess a weapon you ought to demonstrate that you know how to safely and lawfully use it. You go and take an exam and show that you know how to do it. . . . Yes, you have the right to bear arms. You also have freedom of speech. But you don't have freedom to cry "fire" in a crowded theater. In all constitutional issues that we face, we've got to balance them."
Death penalty: "I'm personally opposed to the death penalty because I think that all human life is sacred and to take human life for taking it is inconsistent. . . . I think the only reason for the death penalty is vengeance. I used to say while my mother was still alive -- because I lived with her and I considered her my best friend -- if I walked in and found somebody still there who'd killed my mother I would tear them apart from limb to limb. And that would be a personal vengeance that would be understood. But I don't think that government can engage in personal vengeance. However, I can ask for it and regularly asked for it as a prosecutor when I felt like it was justified under the law."
Immigration (speaking at the FBI Academy): "In this decade, it will be the single, most difficult problem we all face together. . . . This is a nation of immigrants. It is a tradition that this nation should be proud of. But we've got to upgrade the law and make sure that the law is responsive, that it provides haven for those who truly deserve asylum and provides a way to return those who do not in a fair, constitutional manner."
Abortion: "I think raising children is the single hardest thing to do. It takes intelligence, love, hard work. The person who's going to be most involved in that effort is the mother of that child. To bring a child into the world, to be concerned about family values, to raise that child in a way that family values matters and means something, that parent has got to want to do it. And that's the reason I'm pro-choice."
Gays in the military: "I think if somebody wants to give their life for their country, if they care enough about their country, they ought to be able to do so."
Anti-gay rights amendments being considered in some states: "I don't think anybody should be discriminated against based on who they are."