When I was in college, Kemp was my guy. I remember writing Kemp/Powell ‘96 on a few desks. He was the first politician I ever met that was like a movie star to me. The highlight of my early career in Washington was sitting in his HUD office watching the elder Bush give his Detroit Economics Club speech on TV. As I grew older, my disagreements with the man emerged, but my fondness for his big-heartedness never faded. It seems to me that if the GOP needs a makeover, it could do a lot worse than embracing Kempism: A happy warrior love affair with ideas first and tactics second. Good ideas will find their tacticians. Tacticians cannot be relied upon to come up with good ideas.
Anyway, he lived a good and significant life and was well-loved. That’s the most any of us can hope for.