Editor’s note: This is the text of brief remarks, as prepared, delivered at the National Review Online’s tenth-anniversary celebration on October 11, 2006, in Washington, D.C.
Following Rich Lowry nd Jonah Goldberg means that all the cool points have already been made. That’s just as well. It means I won’t keep you long and you’ll soon be back to the party.
First, though, I do need and want to say a few words. Or, rather, the same word a few times — thanks. Thanks most obviously to the many of you here tonight who forked up the money to come. I know not everyone can say “only $75” and I appreciate you choosing to spend the money to be here with us. I hope you enjoy the evening in a special way.
Now I hesitate to name names because inevitably someone is left out. But it would be wrong not to highlight a few. There are many more I want to single out but if I did we’d be here all night.
First off, thanks specifically to all of the official “sponsors” and “supporters” of this tenth-anniversary celebration. In addition to those listed in the programs, thanks to the Family Research Council, who joined the sponsorship club just after the program went to bed.
Rich Lowry deserves credit as a visionary — knowing this Internet thing was worth putting time and resources and money into. And a very personal thanks: He has my deep and abiding gratitude for his confidence and support.
Jonah and I have had a fun and morally upstanding instant-message relationship for about eight years now. It’s a gift to have the opportunity to work with a person you respect and admire — who you are fascinated by — and who can teach you everything there is to know (and way more than you ever wanted to know) about Battlestar Galactica or the damned and “banned” Star Trek.
NRO, for the record, has but two full-time behind-the-scenes employees — and actually, that there are two is a relatively new thing, and a big deal! — Nathan Goulding (known by “Corner” readers as Chaka) and Max Pakaluk, thank you for all the thankless but absolutely essential work you do day in and out.
My partner in crime for a long time now has been Chris McEvoy, who, among other things, gives NRO the look it has. He’s the guy who leaves his wife and kids when Janet Reno takes Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives to send him back to Uncle Fidel on Holy Saturday morning and who misses Church to help celebrate when Saddam Hussein is captured on a Sunday morning. For years folks have assumed we outsource our web design. Nothing of the sort. And that picture of future Speaker (?) Pelosi on our homepage today? May have been my nasty idea to stick you all with it, but it never would have happened without McEvoy, which is the case about a lot of things at National Review.
The fact of life at NRO though is that every morning by the time most normal people are waking up, I owe very many people thanks.
Which brings me to every single other person in the room tonight: Thank you for your support. If you are here tonight, odds are you are an integral part of the National Review Online success story.
You read NRO. Perhaps you refresh “The Corner” a few too many times a day. Thank you for doing that — and I promise not to tell your boss.
Many of you here tonight write for NRO — for very little financial compensation, if any at all.
Some of you shoot me great links during the course of a day, making “The Corner” or one of the other blogs even better than it otherwise would be.
Some of you are valued and trusted sources to one or more of us reporting for NRO.
So many of you never hesitate to offer advice — including criticism — because you care about NRO that much.
These past ten years wouldn’t have been the same without you. We look forward to the future with you.
Thank you, each and every one of you.
Now I know it’s only 2006 and I know we still have November to worry about but in truth there are only about 15 months until the Iowa caucuses. And I know that many of you, like me, are completely on the fence about who to support for president in 2008. Well, right now I have the honor to introduce to you the governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, who may just try to win us all over. And — I might as well be honest — I won’t be at all surprised if when he’s done, I see a few of you signing up.