November 17, 2005

Happy 80th to Bill Buckley (er, one week early)

We were all chuckling about something bone-headed the Soviet spokesman had pronounced earlier in the day, I don’t remember the exact reference. But I do recall Bill saying “You know I’ll almost miss them when we win.” Being of the lugubrious Whittaker Chambers sensibility (Chambers thought he had left the winning for the losing side), I was startled. Only later did I recognize this confidence as a form of faith. In Reagan, it was called optimism. But it was more than that. It was a spiritual strength and it was one important though perhaps underappreciated reason Bill Buckley was and is a great leader.

— Mona Charen

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