July 12, 2008


Tony Snow, former Bush spokesman, dies at 53
(Associated Press, July 12, 2008)

In that year and a half at the White House, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.

Although a star in conservative politics, as a commentator he had not always been on the president's side. He once called Bush "something of an embarrassment" in conservative circles and criticized what he called Bush's "lackluster" domestic policy.

Most of Snow's career in journalism involved expressing his conservative views. After earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1977 and studying economics and philosophy at the University of Chicago, he wrote editorials for The Greensboro (N.C.) Record, and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.

He was the editorial page editor of The Newport News (Va.) Daily Press and deputy editorial page editor of The Detroit News before moving to Washington in 1987 to become editorial page editor of The Washington Times.

Snow left journalism in 1991 to join the administration of President George H.W. Bush as director of speechwriting and deputy assistant to the president for media affairs. He then rejoined the news media to write nationally syndicated columns for The Detroit News and USA Today during much of the Clinton administration.

Robert Anthony Snow was born June 1, 1955, in Berea, Ky., and spent his childhood in the Cincinnati area. Survivors include his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, whom he married in 1987, and three children.

In one of our favorite spoonerisms, The Wife accidentally referred to him as Snowy Toe one time and so he remained ever after. There aren't a whole lot of pols and pundits for him you have affectionate nicknames.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 12, 2008 7:30 AM

Ironically Berea, KY is an enclave for liberalism in the Commonwealth. However the college charges no tuition.


Posted by: Bartman at July 12, 2008 8:15 AM

In the Detroit Free Press, the AP article mentioned his loose grasp of the facts. Sounds to me like sour grapes from someone who may have had his views lightly skewered.

Posted by: Mikey at July 14, 2008 12:16 AM
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