Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow - 1955-2008

America has lost another of her finest journalists, and one of my personal favorites. On this day, Saturday, July 12, 2008 colon cancer has finally defeated Tony Snow. Snow was one of my favorite syndicated columnists. His insight, wit, and clarity made his columns a must read for me. His contributions to NPR were always top-notch, and the Rush Limbaugh show was vastly improved whenever Snow filled in for Rush.

As much as I loved Snow's reporting, it was his engagement with reporters as White House Press Secretary that I most enjoyed. Snow had been a speech writer for Bush I. After making a name for himself in print, on conservative talk shows, and Fox News Sunday, he was asked by Bush II to replace Scott McClellan as White House Press Secretary.

It was most definitely a trade-up in that wing of the Administration. As Peter Baker wrote in today's Washington Post, Snow had not always been easy on Bush II. In his syndicated columns and radio show he had characterized the President as
"impotent" and one who had a "listless domestic policy" who had "lost control of the federal budget." At one point, Snow said, "George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."

When Bush announced Snow's appointment as press secretary, the president made reference to the past criticism. "I asked him about those comments," Bush told reporters, "and he said, 'You should have heard what I said about the other guy.'"
Snow seemed to relish the give-and-take with reporters at televised press briefings. I thought he was the perfect press secretary for an insular, unpopular President who was relentlessly attacked by a largely liberal press corps.

He overstepped his bounds a few times, and stuck his foot in his mouth more than once. That's alright. One can never do something well and not make mistakes in the process.

Tony Snow was from my section of the country. Which was another reason why I liked him so much. He was born in Berea, KY but raised in Cincinnati, OH. He went to Davidson College in NC, the same school that made an improbable run in this year's NCAA tournament. He is survived by his wife Jill and their three children, Kendall, Robbie, and Kristi.

1 comment:

Shane Vander Hart said...

He was one of my favorite journalists as well. I loved the radio show that he did before going to the White House. Listened to it on an almost daily basis.