Conservatives everywhere should mourn the passing Saturday night of Jeff Bell, a great policy man for Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp and twice an against-the-odds Republican Senate nominee in New Jersey, at times when conservatives really needed someone to raise our banner. While he was far from well known among the general public (outside of New Jersey, at least), Jeff deservedly enjoyed a high place among the pantheon of true heroes of the conservative movement, with a full half century of signal work in building both our base of ideas and our practical political movement. (I explained why in a 2014 NRO column.) He also was a wonderful man: sharply insightful, kind, with a quiet but delightful wit. If conservative worthies gathered for dinner, the meal was always better if Jeff was there.
Jeff is surely now in the eternal shining city — and he’s probably already proposing ways to welcome more people into its abundance.