In 2004, when it was brought to San Diego, there was a dedication for the USS Ronald Reagan. How appropriate that on the deck of that magnificent carrier is where Andrew and I first met and became fast friends.
He came up to me and was thrilled that I was there - thrilled and grateful that I was an outspoken Conservative in Hollywood - and knew of the difficulty I faced. As he said to many, he appreciated the courage it took to go against the tide of the liberal establishment. I will always remember it was the first time I felt someone, besides David Horowitz, understood the cost it took to express one's values openly for fear of a modern-day blacklisting. Yes, it does exist.
We became close, and I would spend many nights or afternoons together with Andrew discussing his ideas and the BIGs he wanted to launch. He wanted a place where those of us who may be attacked by the Left for our differing points of view would now have an umbrella of protection - a place to express - a place to inform - a place that would cover our backs.
He said to me many times, "I've got your back!"
When we were on panels together he would never not acknowledge the sacrifice in career I made and with his book "Righteous Indignation" tell of how heroic a deed it is for any of us in Hollywood who have a different point of view. One afternoon at my house when our kids were playing together and in between mouthfuls of Eggplant Parmigiana - and watching the Super Bowl - Andrew talked in depth of the BIGs. He spoke like a force of nature - his ideas and passion lifting him off the couch.
He reminded me of the great man of theater, Harold Clurman, who would spasm and seem to ignite the air around him with the force of his intellect and passion. The only difference with Andrew was the theater was the world stage and the survival of Democracy and America - the Dream and unending mission - his sense of being on the front lines --the minutemen of the 21st century.
Yes, dear friends, Andrew was a force of nature, a Navy SEAL in journalism who would dive deep and in periled waters to uncover the truth and remove the minefields of lies and misinformation.
Tireless. Unflinching. Always feeling a bit guilty he wasn't giving Susie and the kids enough time but giving all he could when he could to all he could. He gave his heart, and gladly he loved what he was doing and gave his life doing it.
To be honest, I will sleep a little less easy from here on knowing my friend is no longer mine sweeping for us -- Not being able to meet with him in NY -DC- LA or wherever and have a glass of Red and enjoy his humor -intellect - passion and his unguarded wonderful laughter of the absurd in politics--his excitement when a new celebrity was found to be a conservative - his need to make sure we connected and help each other -- His love --the love that burst in his chest --
My dear, wonderful, eccentric, brilliant, unique, patriotic friend -- I will miss you but never forget you.
My prayers for Susie and the children who experience the biggest loss. Perhaps some day one of his children will read this - know that he loved you so much - that he gave his life fighting for the country he loved and wanted you to grow up in. Your father did not "go gentle into that good night." He raged, RAGED against the dying of the light!"
How fitting we met on the deck of USS Ronald Reagan.
God bless you all.