Ron Silver R.I.P.
He spoke at 100 mph, and thought just as fast. He was a man of passionate attachments and fierce loyalties, but he could change his mind on things. He absolutely loved everything about politics. He liked big-think and could talk sweepingly about the direction of world history. He also liked politics at its most basic. As a political consultant friend said today, he’d toss out a sentence like, “You know, we could win in the 14th,” and you’d have to ask: “Which 14th? The 14th congressional district? Assembly district?” What was he talking about? And he’d know the personalities in the race, the demographics of the district, pretty much everything. People make fun of actors who dabble in politics. He didn’t dabble. He did the full immersion.
Silver and I became friendly back in the early 1990s, when we shared many political views and interests. He liked a book I wrote, and most authors are suckers for people who are nice to their books; at least I am. He desperately wanted Bill Clinton and his Third Wayish politics to succeed. His problem-solving temperament also drew him to Rudy Giuliani as mayor of New York.
And Sept. 11 drew him to George W. Bush. “What are you doing here?” I asked him at the 2004 Republican National Convention, where he spoke on Bush’s behalf. But I knew. I can’t say I was happy with his speech, but there was still something irresistible about his passion and his glee at breaking ranks.
I saw him for the last time at a dinner during the 2008 Republican National Convention. It was a typical Ron Silver production: a large round table populated by people of every imaginable ideological persuasion, from socialist to liberal to conservative to libertarian. He jumped in and out of conversations, talking about books, ideas, people, foreign policy, foreign politics, and, of course, our own election. He was deeply torn between McCain and Obama, though Joe Klein reports that Silver eventually voted for Obama. (Joe has posted an extraordinary tribute to his dear friend.)
Silver was the most cheerful person who was dying of cancer that I have ever met. Cancer was an annoying inconvenience. He was hoping to beat it long enough to get various projects done. He’d keep going, keep working, keep thinking, keep arguing, keep assembling friends, until it got to him. It finally did last Sunday morning. We should all hope to have his energy, his curiosity and his passion.
Posted by: creatia52 | March 19, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Too2much | March 19, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kase | March 19, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pdxgeek | March 19, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mot2win | March 19, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gsms69 | March 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kase | March 20, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dana6 | March 20, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gsms69 | March 20, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kase | March 21, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: agapn9 | March 23, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: logcabin1836 | March 23, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: logcabin1836 | March 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 12thgenamerican | March 23, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 12thgenamerican | March 23, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 24, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.