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Sunday, July 13, 2008

More on Tony Snow:

It's been a busy day here at home, so I'm just now catching the Fox News Sunday tribute to Tony Snow. It continues to amaze me how much love and respect there is for Snow by people from both sides of the ideological divide.

I've been searching left and right for the most memorable Tony Snow moment for me, his closing remarks to the Fox News Sunday telecast after September 11th, 2001. I haven't been able to locate the video, but there is a partial transcript on Fox News' website that goes as follows:

Good and evil almost never express themselves as harshly and clearly as they did Tuesday morning. People we don't know slaughtered people we do, and they did it with contemptuous glee.

Yet, even as clouds of dust and smoke rose from the rubble, even as family members tortured by hope and doubt took to the streets with pictures and pleas; even as mobs celebrated in Gaza, Cairo and Bagdad something shook itself to slow life.

That something was a sense of ourselves. Kindness flourished amid the flames. A couple carried a disabled man down 68 flights of stairs. A priest crouched to give last rites as a mighty tower collapsed and the hand of God closed about him. A man and woman, their hope gone, held each other and leaped. A solitary candle, a flag, a tear. These are the tokens of our renewal.

The United States had a spirit even before it had a name -- one of faith and freedom; of ambition tempered by public piety. We once were a nation of neighbors and friends. We are again today. We once were a nation of hardship-tested dreamers. We are again today. We once were a nation under God. We are again today. Our enemies attacked one nation. They will encounter another for they underestimated us.

Today, in our grief and rage; our determination and hope, we have summoned what is best and noblest in us; the kinship that awes our enemies and friends alike. We are again -- Americans.

Snow had trouble keeping his composure that day, and I have long admired his words. They were profound then, and they remain so today.

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.: posted by Dave 10:10 PM

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow:

This morning as I was preparing myself and the boys for church, my wife came out of the office and whispered to me that Tony Snow had died. I recalled that he had a speaking engagement of some sort weeks ago and had to cancel. I recall thinking at that time that Snow's time was probably short, especially knowing about his bout with colon cancer.

Like most observers, I've had hours to absorb the showering of affection and the displays of grief from pundits, journalists, and the like. I watched a bit of Fox this morning, and have read countless eulogies online. I thought I would reflect on Tony Snow by remembering the things as a viewer of news and political punditry that stood out about him.

I remember my first exposure to him when he guest hosted for Rush Limbaugh. I remember his unique voice, and how he brought a much more personal touch to the E.I.B. microphone than Rush ever did, or could. I fondly remember his years of hosting Fox News Sunday in its infancy. With all due respect to Chris Wallace, he doesn't hold a candle to Tony Snow. I remember his sparring with Helen Thomas and David Gregory in the White House press room. I also remember his infectious optimism from his interviews with the same David Gregory and with David Letterman last year.

But the one thing I will always remember most was his closing of Fox News Sunday on the air a short time after the 9/11 attacks. I don't remember much about what he said, but I remember how difficult it was for him to conclude his remarks. He was tearful, sincere, and he reflected the thoughts of all of us in America during that time.

His attitude about life, his love for wife and children, and his moral fortitude are something we should all aspire to have. If I speak as if I knew Tony Snow, which I obviously didn't, it is because he conveyed that sense of connection when he was on the radio, writing, being a press secretary, or just sitting down for an interview. This is the Tony Snow I will remember, as will millions of Americans who knew him from afar.

And today, the world has lost another great and upstanding man. It seems as if they are all falling by the wayside these days. I'll try to catch the Fox News Sunday tribute tomorrow, and then I will go about my business, hopefully with a little more sense of mortality, and a little more love for those around me.

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.: posted by Dave 11:15 PM

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