The Washington Times ran a really nice tribute to the late Tony Blankley today, devoting its entire Commentary section to articles by and about Tony.
One piece that caught my attention was the one by Mike McCurry on how Blankley saved McCurry’s job as White House press secretary under Clinton. As I wrote in a piece for Commentary on the use by Democrats of Mediscare campaigns against Republicans, McCurry had charged from the podium that “the reason they’re trying to slow the rate of increase in the program, I suppose, is because eventually they’d like to see the program just die and go away. You know, that’s probably what they’d like to see happen to seniors, too, if you think about it.” This shocked even the Clinton-friendly White House press corps; the official transcript records the press reaction to this statement as “Q: Ooooooooh!”
Unsurprisingly, then-Speaker Gingrich didn’t much like the comment, either. As McCurry writes today, “That was too much for the speaker and he more or less told President Clinton that there would be no more negotiating until I was sent packing.” Fortunately for McCurry, “Tony intervened and rescued my job after coaxing me to eat a little humble pie at the podium.” A classy guy, even if McCurry may have deserved more than just a little “humble pie” for the comment.