At first, everyone thought it was a hoax. Big Journalism was reporting that firebrand conservative activist Andrew Breitbart was dead at 43. But slowly, as more details were confirmed, the conservative movement began to grieve. There are many great remembrances of Breitbart out on the web today. Below are excerpts from jjust five of the people who knew him best:
Matt Drudge: “DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT, Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20′s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today.”
The Weekly Standard‘s Matt Labash: “One of his favorite pastimes was retweeting his own hate mail, which was voluminous. As a partisan warrior and a guerrilla-theater aficionado - half right-wing Yippie, half Andy Kaufman (his Twitter picture at the time of his death was a Jesus-sighting style imprint of his face on a piece of toast) – he made it his vocation to make people crazy. Whatever detractors say, or more likely, whatever they spray, Breitbart clearly excelled at his job.”
National Review’s Jonah Goldberg: “He picked fights for fun and profit, but most of all for patriotism and an honorable sense of indignation at the hubris and hypocrisy of the mainstream media and the Left. We didn’t agree on everything and we differed on style. Hell, everyone differed with Andrew when it came to style.”
Reason‘s Matt Welch: “That doesn’t mean the guy stumbled accidentally into politcal conflict. He lived for it. He was genuinely, convincingly, overwhelmingly outraged at the workaday biases of liberal media, academia, and entertainment, and always positioned himself smack dab in the center of it. He’d be in the middle of some hilarious story about trying to do unspeakable things at some Irvine Meadows concert in the 1980s, and then if the conversation got steered toward the media, his eyes would narrow and redden, his face would go purplish, and Breitbart-Hulk would take over.”
Slate‘s David Weigel: “Breitbart made himself irresistible to reporters. He made himself accessible, too. When ambush interviewers wanted to find him, there he was, sitting in a hotel lobby or drinking with possible allies. One of his strategies was to pass a reporter a part of a story, a possible exclusive, to make sure that it wasn’t just foundering on his Big Journalism network. ‘Feeding the media is like training a dog,’ he wrote. ‘You can’t throw an entire steak at a dog to train it to sit. You have to give it little bits of steak over and over again until it learns.’”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Breitbart lived his engaging and joyful life to the fullest all the way to the end. Just hours before he died, Breitbart stopped into The Brentwood, a bar near his home in Los Angeles. A marketing executive recognized Breitbart and struck up a conversation. The two reportedly then talked politics for hours before departing, promising to get together again soon.
God bless him, his wife, and his four children.
Michigan: Mitt Romney supporters in the Michigan Republican Party changed the rules Wednesday evening, awarding both of Michigan’s at large delegates to Romney, who won the popular vote. The rules at the time of the primary awarded delegates on a proportional basis. As a result, Romney will get 16 delegates and Rick Santorum 14.
Tennessee: Santorum leads Romney 40 percent to 19 percent among Republican Tennessee voters, according to a new Middle Tennessee State University poll.
Santorum: Santorum got in a heated exchange with Cincinnati talk show host Scott Sloan yesterday over birth control and his lack of support among women. The conversation ended when Santorum’s cell phone dropped the call.
Obama: President Obama continued to try and deflect blame away from himself on gas prices yesterday, this time telling supporters to direct their anger at oil companies with increasing profits. Obama called on Congress to punish oil companies by raising their taxes.
Polls: According to Gallup, Republican enthusiasm for the 2012 election is growing. By 53% to 45%, Republicans, including independents who lean Republican, are slightly more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say they are “more enthusiastic than usual about voting” this year.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Examiner, O’Malley tax increase would cost $274 more annually: One of every five Marylanders would pay an average $274 in extra taxes each year under Gov. Martin O’Malley’s income tax plan, according to a new report from state budget analysts.
The Wall Street Journal, Economy Picks Up Pace, but Risks Remain: Lower numbers of initial unemployment benefit claims, higher consumer confidence, and stronger GDP growth all suggest that the economy is finally beginning to recover. However, consumer spending has been mixed and manufacturing growth is slow.
CBS News, Inflation is Not as low as you think: According to the American Institute for Economic Research, which includes energy prices and excludes big ticket items like new homes in its calculations, inflation is up just over 8 percent over the past year. The biggest factor: Motor fuel and transportation costs are up 21.06 percent from year-ago levels.
The Wall Street Journal, Beijing Diversifies Away From U.S. Dollar: Fresh data suggest China is moderating its appetite for investing in U.S. securities, a trend that could mean lower flows of cheap capital from Beijing and a possible rise in borrowing costs across the American economy.
Politico, K Street Democrats warn clients on donations to GOP: Democrats on K Street are warning their corporate clients: Give to Republican challengers in the 2012 election, and you’ll regret it come tax reform time.
The Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney details how the Obama campaign is lying about contraception mandates.
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis makes the case against Obamanomics in 13 charts.
The Heritage Foundation‘s Lachlan Markay reports that another recipient of Obama stimulus dollars, Abound Solar, is in financial trouble and has laid off 70 percent of its workforce.
The Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson presents Obama’s case for reelection in 13 charts.
The New Republic‘s JonathanCohn makes the case for why Romney’s support for the Blunt amendment matters.
Talking Points Memo posts a chart the editors hope shows it is “Morning in America” again.