16 Dec

A memorial service was held today in the Capitol for a gentle man mourned by friends Tony Blankley former editorial page editor of the Washington Times. Although losing his battle to cancer, Tony lives on.

After the service began, a dog was heard barking in the center hall of the Washington National Cathedral where friends and colleagues gathered. No matter. No one was angered. There was no turning around at the cell phone owner and glaring rather laughter in that everyone present knew Tony loved dogs. It was fitting a dog bark to break the silence all sat quiet in albeit a ring tone puppy.


Tony was a Brit who chose to make America his home. Interesting that he began in the footsteps of the Gipper he went on to work with, emulating in more ways than one. Tony was a child actor who grew into politics as a career. The Times handed out copies of their January 13 2012 COMMENTARY page filled with tributes to Tony, amongst them a tribute from his former boss Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Gingrich wrote it was absurd the speaker’s press secretary had pet llamas. Gingrich wrote that Tony grew up “in a very British household in Hollywood. His father had been Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s personal accountant…. He became part of Ronald Reagan’s campaign for governor…. He worked in Reagan’s campaigns and governorship in California… By the time I was privileged to work with Tony he was a seasoned veteran of government and political communications. We were partners in communicating the Contract With America and developing the first Republican speakership in 40 years…”


Although politics permeated the service, an affirmation of GOVERNMENT in  GOD, what was made clear was the Reagan years that drew many of the mourners together was a time celebrated by a band of brothers and sisters, none of the gut kicking throat slashing vile being heaped on Tony’s former boss from a primary candidate making it clear he has no interest in being a Capitol Insider.


Presidential candidates mixing it up on the primary trail do not have the class of the Beltway insiders gathered inside the Washington National Cathedral today, a perfect site for Tony’s memorial. It was as if he was going home. The Washington National Cathedral was built in America to be like Westminster Abbey in Tony’s childhood world. What was celebrated was history- people who have watched each others backs be it Dana Rohrbacher’s story of being called in to the Gipper’s office with 20 minutes notice only a problem if your speech writing outfit was shorts, Hawaiian shirt and sandals and you had your suit, shirt, tie, but no shoes. Tony had shoes large, well too large for Dana’s feet. Fitting, as one heard the story being told. Tony’s shoes will be too big for just anyone man to fit, now and forever.


Ed Gillespie’s could not hold it together as he talked about his dear friend. Real men do cry not for what they lost but do share tears knowing the legacy their friend gifted them is a standard to be passed forward in a world changed from they entered as boys now in the winter of their lives. The Honorable Edwin Meese III honored his friend. And then spoke Spencer, one of Tony’s children. We all wish for our children to honor us when we grace the world with our legacy. Spencer lost more than a dad. He lost his friend honored in speech by the same Reverend who married Tony and his wife more than two decades earlier.


I sat wishing the world outside would have seen the gentility of conservative politics the past few state primaries outsiders of the beltway being tarnished in the name of winning at all cost by DC outsiders.

Men and women gathered came together to remember a bookmark in history, Tony Blankley.  As Tony’s family departed,  row by row by row, filed out in an orderly quiet fashion. There was no worrying about the elephant in the room At least in heart for Tony at the ceremony all were GOP’rs, conservatism at its best exemplified by a band of brothers and sisters entitled to invoke the Gipper

 [ www.godinthetemplesofgovernment.com ]


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