Saturday, May 02, 2009

Jack Kemp RIP 1935-2009

Sad news....... an American Patriot and all around good guy died today! This is what I posted here in January of this year:

It was announced today that former Buffalo Bill's Quarterback and Republican VP nominee, Jack Kemp, has cancer. After he retired from the NFL Jack Kemp served as a United States Congressman from Buffalo for nine terms and served in the cabinet of President George H. W. Bush as HUD Secretary. He was picked by Bob Dole in 1996 as his VP choice on the Republican ticket. I have always liked Jack Kemp. In 1980 I wanted Ronald Reagan to pick him as his VP choice. I supported him for President in 1988 when he ran for President in the Republican Primaries. I still have an autographed "Jack Kemp For President" poster hanging on the ceiling of our family room. I have always liked his positive optimistic brand of economic conservatism that reaches out to all Americans in an attempt to bring us together. I could never understand why he was not more popular in the Republican Party. Our family went see him speak when he came to Medford during the 1996 Presidential campaign.It's a shame he was not elected President or Vice President.

As a side note Jack Kemp and I share an admiration of Winston Churchill. A few month ago Greta Van Susteren of FOX NEWS visited his office and he has numerous statues of Churchill on display including one that looks like the one I purchased at Churchill's home,Chartwell, titled "Winston is Back."

My thoughts are with Jack Kemp and his family. He is a fighter and I know he will fight the cancer with a positive "can do" spirit he has exhibited his entire life.

"Democracy is not a mathematical deduction proved once and for all time. Democracy is a just faith fervently held, commitment to be tested again and again in the fiery furnace of history.”

Jack Kemp

My thoughts are with his family tonight.

UPDATE: This was posted on National Review's blog tonight:

Jack Kemp, R.I.P. [Rick Brookhiser]

Was there ever a man of such high spirits as Jack Kemp? Reagan was sunny; Kemp was a perpetual solar flare. He had an athlete's energy and an optimist's expectation that all would come out well. He also felt the respect for learning that only those who come to it late and under their own steam have. Ideas, he believed, really could save the world. Some of his ideas were half-baked—he put far too much credit in his friend Jude Wanniski—and his timing was bad. He offered himself in 1988 as Reagan's heir, but he was crushed between George H.W. Bush, who as Veep was the heir of record, and Pat Robertson, the GOP's Jesse Jackson, the cleric who wanted the White House because of who he was, not because of anything he had done. In Right Time, Right Place I tell the story of how John O'Sullivan and I went to DC to urge Jack to challenge President Bush for the nomination in 1992, but he had just been kicked in the head three years earlier, and had no desire to risk another drubbing. Bob Dole's picking Kemp as his runningmate in 1996 shocked everyone; his career had seemed over. He had a bad debate with Al Gore (Wanniski gave him terrible advice beforehand, which he followed). He was a great friend of National Review, and there was nothing more exhilirating than Jack at full speed: a combination of riding a great horse, and a roller coaster. RIP.

I think I will have a drink tonight...... I feel very sad.

UPDATE 2: From the Weekly Standard Blog:

Jack Kemp, 1935-2009
Jack Kemp--American patriot, fighter for freedom, apostle of opportunity, and a kind and generous man--has died at age 73. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his wife Joanne, and his children and the rest of his family. “He was a man, take him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again.”

Posted by William Kristol at 12:33 AM

UPDATE 3: From Matt Lewis at blog;

Whether he was leading the Chargers and Bills to championships in the renegade AFL, or promoting a wild new economic theory in the halls of Congress, Jack Kemp was a creative and optimistic man who left and indelible mark on America. For that, he deserves and induction into the conservative hall of fame along with Reagan, Buckley, Goldwater, and other titans of the movement.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Kemp -- you can be my quarterback any time, and I only wish that we were able to retire jersey numbers in politics.

To read more from Matt Lewis on Kemp click on the title for a link.

Jack Kemp, RIP by Jonah Goldberg

When I was in college, Kemp was my guy. I remember writing Kemp/Powell '96 on a few desks. He was the first politician I ever met that was like a movie star to me. The highlight of my early career in Washington was sitting in his HUD office watching the elder Bush give his Detroit Economics Club speech on TV. As I grew older, my disagreements with the man emerged, but my fondness for his big-heartedness never faded. It seems to me that if the GOP needs a makeover, it could do a lot worse than embracing Kempism: A happy warrior love affair with ideas first and tactics second. Good ideas will find their tacticians. Tacticians cannot be relied upon to come up with good ideas.

Anyway, he lived a good and significant life and was well-loved. That's the most any of us can hope for.