Posted on | March 1, 2012 | 99 Comments
“There is never a good time for bad things to happen,” I had just remarked to my wife, as we drove to the hospital where today we are dealing with a family emergency.
It was incredible. It had to be some kind of bad joke. I called Matthew Vadum, a contributor to Breitbart’s Big Government, who said he had confirmed the shocking news.
Vadum and I had just been hanging out with Breitbart last Friday at the Marriott Hotel in Troy, Michigan, where Breitbart spoke Saturday at the Americans for Prosperity Michigan forum.
A little later, Cynthia Yockey called me in tears, mourning Andrew’s loss, but as I told her, our own sense of loss of our friend and ally — a powerful and innovative force in conservative New Media — is inconsequential compared to the fathomless pain experienced by Andrew’s wife and four children, who should be in our prayers.
He may have been the greatest genius I’ve ever met, with a keen, intuitive mind. Although he had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder — he had a freewheeling quality about him, and his schedule was quite improvisational – Breitbart was also capable of a laser-like focus on whatever subject captured his interest. There were times you’d be talking to him and, if that spark of passionate interest hit, his luminous blue eyes would glow with an intensity that was almost frightening.
Andrew was 10 years younger than me. I’d known him for five years. His death reminded me of the 2007 death of John Berthoud of the American Taxpayers Union who, like Andrew, generously gave of his time and knowledge to help build the liberty movement.
I’m sure I’ll have updates later, and regret that I’m not in a position to do more blogging about this tragic loss today, but as I said: There is never a good time for bad things to happen.
UPDATE: Everyone who knew Andrew is probably telling stories today of their “Breitbart moments.” One of my favorites was in April 2010 at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, when Ali Akbar threw a blogger bash for GOP congressional candidate Ray McKinney and Breitbart showed up to regale us all with tales of New Orleans voodoo:
Lyndsey Fifield reacts to Breitbart’s remark — a Tulane alumnus, Breitbart was confirming that New Orleans voodoo is a reality — as Dave Weigel of Slate and political operative Zach Oldham stare in stunned amazement.
UPDATE II: Linked by the Rhetorican — thanks!
UPDATE III: Linked by the Lonely Conservative — thanks!
UPDATE IV: Rick Santorum reacts:
Obviously prayers go to him and his family and it’s a big shock. What a powerful voice. It’s almost you mean you think of anyone who’s more energy who’s out there constantly driving and pushing he would be.
Breitbart’s politics were a bit more libertarian than Santorum’s, but Andrew was strongly pro-life. It was kind of personal with him, because he was adopted — his birth parents were a couple of ’60s hippie types — and Andrew thus understood deeply the enormous potential of “unwanted” babies.
UPDATE VI: Linked by Don Surber, Trevor Loudon, Andrew J. Patrick, Red Alexandria, Da Tech Guy, Moose and Squirrel, Dateline Zero, Temple of Mut, The Radio Patriot, Fire Andrea Mitchell, Katy’s Conservative Corner, Wizbang, Fausta Wertz, Republican Redefined, NOLA Defender, Nice Deb, Katy Pundit and The Camp of the Saints — thanks!