RIP, Tony Snow

I can’t believe it.  I woke up this morning, turned on the TV and they were talking about his death.   I was hoping I was still asleep and having a dream/nightmare but I wasn’t.  Tony Snow is dead at the age of 53:

Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and conservative pundit who bedeviled the press corps and charmed millions as a FOX News television and radio host, has died after a long bout with cancer. He was 53.

A syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician, Snow worked in nearly every medium in a career that spanned more than 30 years.

“The White House has lost a great friend and a great colleague,” said President Bush’s press secretary Dana Perino. “We all loved watching him at the podium, but most of all we learned how to love our families and treat each other.”

Snow joined FOX in 1996 as the original anchor of “FOX News Sunday” and hosted “Weekend Live” and a radio program, “The Tony Snow Show,” before departing in 2006. A sometime fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Snow said he loved the intimacy of his radio audience.

“It’s a tremendous loss for us who knew him, but it’s also a loss for the country,” Roger Ailes, chairman of FOX News, said Saturday morning about Snow, calling him a “renaissance man.”

As a TV pundit and commentator for FOX News, Snow was often critical of President Bush before he became Bush’s third press secretary in 2006, following Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. He was an instant study in the job, mastering the position — and the White House press corps — with apparent ease.

During a tenure marked by friendly jousting with journalists, Snow often danced around the press corps, occasionally correcting their grammar and speech even as he responded to their questions.

“Tony did his job with more flair than almost any press secretary before him,” said William McGurn, Bush’s former chief speechwriter. “He loved the give-and-take. But that was possible only because Tony was a man of substance who had real beliefs and principles that he was more than able to defend.”

The tributes are pouring in at NRO’s Corner blog, including this beautiful one from Shannen Coffin:

The day of Tony Snow’s hiring at the White House was electric.  To call him a “rock star” was an understatement.  He brought substance to every meeting he was in and every subject he covered.  He was unwaveringly conservative at the Principals table, but like all good servants of the government and the President, when a decision was made, he fell in line and became an advocate for the President, not for Tony Snow.  It isn’t hard to conclude that he was one of the best Presidential Press Secretaries of all time, if not the best. 
But what struck me most about him was his ceaseless optimism.  Even when he was leaving his post, when his prognosis could not have been good, he was always in good cheer with his colleagues.  He had a smile that lit up a room and could put a friend at ease in an instant, even when that sense of unease was brought about by concern for his illness.  When he left, he likely knew that he had a short time left to provide for his family, but the smile never died, and it hasn’t today either.  He was always touched to know that friends and those he didn’t even know were praying for him.  I still am, friend.  God bless you and your family, Tony.  RIP. 

He was the best. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.   RIP, Tony, and God bless you.

Read more reax via Memeorandum.

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