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Jon Fleischman

Andrew, I Will Miss You My Friend

Andrew Breitbart, 1969-2012

March 1, 2012 will go down in history as one of the least productive days of my life.  I woke up this morning to an e-mail alert from Politico proclaiming that Andrew Breitbart, age 43, had passed away from natural causes.  I stared at this alert in disbelief.  I didn’t want to believe it.  I quickly went to one of the Breitbart websites — Big Government, I think.  And there was a post from Larry Solov, Andrew’s everything guy, confirming that this totally unique persona in American politics had left us.  Even seeing it up on Andrew’s site, I still didn’t want to believe it.  I emailed Larry, hoping that perhaps someone had hacked the site, and Politico got their story from that.  Nope, Larry confirmed it.  I had lost a friend, a mentor, a colleague.  The country had lost what was without a doubt it’s most impactful warrior in the fight against a left-wing culture in America that threatens our very existence.  To say that one was friends with Andrew would be to be one of many — an incredibly warm, affable if somewhat intense fellow, he was easy to befriend and I can tell you that the more you invested that relationship, the more you would get out of it.

It the silence of my quiet home, I wept.   By the time my wife and the kids started to rouse, I had myself pretty well composed, and held my own for a couple of hours.  But then I lost it again.  And then again.   The tragedy of this loss it so great that it’s still hard for me to wrap my hands around it.  For Andrew’s wife, Susie, and their four young children, this is truly a horror story.  My heart goes out to them, and all of Andrew’s family.  Then there are the rest of us who were fortunate enough to call Andrew a good friend.  The loss is – stunning.  I had just spoken with him yesterday (typical of many of our conversations, this one was more about the Atkins diet and the passing of the lead singer of the Monkees than about a culture war — though there were many conversations about the future of our country).

There is a lot that I want to say about Andrew Breitbart.  Three or four times today I started to try and write something.  I apologize that I just have not been up for it.  I finally decided that my opportunity to share my observations and insights into this extraordinarily complex yet simple guy would have to wait.  I’ve opened up a bottle of a wine that both Andrew and I loved, and have been sipping on that as I sift around online reading what people are saying about Andrew’s passing.  I’ve put the best of what I have read on our main page for Friday.

Hanging out with Breitbart on the field at Dodger Stadium

Andrew’s passions were his family, the Los Angeles Dodgers (his favorite gift of all time from me was an Andre Ethier bobblehead), and fighting for the future of this country as only he could.  We all all have dreams in our lives — things that we hope one day to be able to do.  Andrew had a few — okay, more than a few.  But one that he shared with me on more than one occasion was that he would like nothing more than to be able to call the play-by-play on the radio for a Dodger game.  At a Dodger game that we attended, we had a chance to go up to the broadcast booth and meet legendary Dodger announcer Vin Scully.  The look on his face when he was shaking hands with Scully is the Andrew I will remember forever.  Total and complete bliss.  He had met his hero.

At some point I will write something more meaningful about Andrew.  But for now I only say rest in peace my friend.  I will miss you dearly, and I promise that I will never, ever forget you.