“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fallen Snow. A Good Man Died Today.

Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary, gentleman and conservative pundit practiced his craft, balanced and fairly, with a dash of toughness. He will be missed by us all.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former White House press secretary Tony Snow -- who once told reporters "I'm a very lucky guy" -- died at the age of 53 early Saturday after a second battle with cancer.

Snow, who had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a recurrence of the disease, left his White House job September 14, 2007, and joined CNN in April as a conservative commentator.

President Bush said Saturday that he and first lady Laura Bush were "deeply saddened" by Snow's death.

"The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character," the president said in a statement.

From Fox:

Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after he was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005. In 2007, he announced that his cancer had recurred and spread to his liver, and he had a cancerous growth removed from his abdominal area.

He resigned from the White House six months later, in September 2007, citing not his health but a need to earn more than the $168,000 a year he was paid in the government post. He was replaced by Perino.

After taking time off to recuperate, Snow joined CNN as a political commentator early this year.

In his year-and-a-half at the White House, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.

As a commentator, he had not always been on the president's side. He once called Bush "something of an embarrassment" in conservative circles and criticized what he called Bush's "lackluster" domestic policy.

A sometime fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Snow said he loved the intimacy of his radio audience.

Robert Anthony Snow was born June 1, 1955, in Berea, Ky., the son of a teacher and nurse. He graduated from Davidson College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, and he taught briefly in Kenya before embarking on his career as a journalist.

Because of his love for writing, Snow took a job as an editorial writer for the Greensboro Record in North Carolina and went on to run the editorial pages at the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press, Detroit News and Washington Times. He became a nationally syndicated columnist, and in 1991 he became director of speechwriting for President George H.W. Bush.

"He served people, and we can learn from that. He was kind, and we can learn from that. He was just a good person," the senior Bush told FOX News.

Snow played six different instruments — saxophone, trombone, flute, piccolo, accordion and guitar — and was in a D.C. cover band called Beats Workin'. He was also a film buff.

"He was a great musician," Ailes said. "And he loved movies."

More than anything, said Snow's colleagues, he was a joy to work with.

"He was a lot of fun," his former FOX News producer Griff Jenkins said Saturday. "This is a loss of a family member."

Senior FOX News Washington Correspondent Jim Angle called Snow a "gentleman."

Snow is survived by his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, whom he married in 1987; their son, Robbie; and daughters, Kendall and Kristi.


  1. Never like to see the good go early...

    Been getting letters from the doc lately, he wants to scope my ass again...

    last time he was there he found nothing but a few tin cans, rocks and pebbles...

    I guess i should go and get looked at again...

    sucks getting old

    Respects to the Snow family on their loss.

  2. The Germans would have sterilized mom for bad familial genetics. After they'd have busted baby's skull against a wall.

  3. :)

    Scope it, again, WiO, it's worth the money. Besides, you get really neat pink pictures of your asshole afterwards, to use on greeting cards, etc. I did. To send to people you don't like. Even some you do.

    Respects here too to the Snows.

  4. ON an Administrative matter:

    Two Directors recommended that all nominations to the board of directors be done by email. It is so ordered.

  5. That's a shame. I thought he could beat it.

    If there was a conservative counterpart to Tim Russert, I believe it was Tony Snow.

  6. An 83 year old Jewess gets beat up visiting her adopted daughter in Kaunas. The daughter was an abandoned Lithuanian girl. My aunt's family was killed during the war and so she adopted this little girl. So now this Lithuanian girl is a Physician, married to another Physician, and they have two daughters that study at a University in Holland. My aunt travels to Kaunas to visit her daughter and granddaughters every April, and stays til October.

    The daughter and granddaughters are Catholics, btw.

  7. Bummer. Tony Snow was a class act in an industry dominated by clowns.

  8. Bummer. Tony Snow was a class act in an industry dominated by clowns.

    Sometimes he plugged in for Rush. Mark Steyn does that now, and he's good too.

  9. Never heard of this gentleman being a UK resident but God-Bless him and may he rest in peace.
    Love to his wife and family at this very sad time.
    We seem only to hear of the bad guys here. but that's the BBC for you.