Reporter remembers Snow's quick mind, kindness, humility

Politics,Bill Sammon

Tony Snow’s mind was so quick and nimble that whenever he interviewed me on Fox News, I was slightly worried that I would be flummoxed by a line of inquiry I had not anticipated.

One day in 2002, for example, as we were coming out of a commercial break, a producer informed Snow through his earpiece that Milton Berle had become gravely ill. Snow alerted me of this development and then began the next segment by asking me to comment on the legendary entertainer.

"Um," I stammered. "Uncle Miltie was a bit before my time."

As usual, Snow bailed me out by saying something pithy and insightful, proving once again his extraordinary ability to make sense of fluid, fast-changing information.

That’s what made him so good on TV and radio, not to mention as a presidential spokesman.

The other thing that struck me about Snow was his humility, which is rare in a man so accustomed to the spotlight. I was once on his "Weekend Live" Fox show and he brought in fitness guru Denise Austin to advise him on how he could shed a few pounds.

"I’m a big fat tub o’ goo!" Snow exclaimed with customary self-deprecation.

In 2006, I interviewed Snow for an Examiner story about his decision to become the White House press secretary. He was resolute about bringing a measure of decency to the combative post.

"I’ve had people blast me because I’m too squishy, I’m too nice, all that sort of stuff," Snow said. "Well, yeah, OK, I’ll take that. I think it’s time."

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