Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Goodbye, Tony Snow

I saw Tony Snow for the last time a couple of months ago. I had boarded a plane from San Francisco to Dulles and had my head buried in a book, when I felt someone hit me on the head with a rolled up newspaper. I looked up, ready to pick a fight, and there was Tony grinning in the aisle. He talked my seatmate into switching seats and we rode back to Washington, catching up on old times. He looked good, much better than he had appeared last time I’d seen him on TV, but he admitted he was dead tired. He’d been on an extended speaking tour, was going to be back home for only one day, and ready to head out again for what he said was his last commitment.

We talked about his health, and I gave him motherly advice about how he had to slow down. He smiled and promised he was going to take it easy after the next trip. But it was clear to me that what he was really saying was that he had to do as much paid speaking as he could right then in order to provide for his family when he was gone. He wasn’t morbid about it–in fact, Tony had one of the most optimistic personalities of anyone I’ve ever known. He was just congenitally cheerful.

I first met Tony when I was staff director of the US Civil Rights Commission in the Reagan administration and he was a young writer for the Detroit News. Over the years, Tony was generous in ways few people in his profession are. When USA Today decided to add a stable of four regular opinion writers to its editorial page, Tony recommended me as the other conservative. We wrote for the paper once a week for a couple of years, and then the paper decided to change format. Tony picked up on the gossip long before I did and called to warn me to start looking elsewhere to place my column and recommended Creators Syndicate, where I ended up. Tony was very good at promoting himself, but that never translated into stabbing the other guy in the back to get ahead. Truly, there aren’t many like him in the world of ambition that is Washington.

He was just an all-around nice guy who loved his work, loved his family, and seemed to enjoy each day he was given. Those days were all too short, and we will all miss him


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.