I was never as close to Andrew as many of the others at Breitbart News, but I met him dozens of times at the events we both covered and attended and we grew close enough that he soon remembered my name. We frequently went to dinner at these events, visited each other’s hotel rooms, and socialized with the same ever-growing group of bloggers, politicos and media types.
Andrew was a force of nature, for sure. He was everywhere at once, attended every conservative gathering of note. I ran into him everywhere from Las Vegas to Chicago, from Washington D.C. to Cancun, Mexico and everywhere in between. Anywhere conservatives gathered, he was there to cheer them on and urge them on to greater activism against the extremist, left-wing media establishment that has done so much damage to this country.
But the time that stands out most–because it was more intimate than the any of the other times we appeared at the same events–was that trip to Cancun, Mexico in December of 2010. Americans for Prosperity sponsored the event and called it the “Hot Air Tour.”
Unbeknownst to Andrew and I, we both had been invited to attend AFP’s excursion southward to lambaste the U.N. Climate Change Summit then being held in Cancun. I arrived the day before, but when Wednesday morning arrived, I happened to be standing in the lobby when down the hallway Andrew bounded, suitcase in hand, after having arrived from the airport.
“Warner, what are you doing here,” he said in his good-natured way.
We’d seen each other all around the US of A, but we were both sort of surprised to be meeting in Mexico. It just seemed incongruous to the both of us.
No one else was around so Andrew looked at me and quickly said, “I’m starving, we need to go get lunch.” So, for the next two hours he and I sat in a sports bar eating fish and drinking beer. Andrew kept me at rapt attention with a stream of news about where he’d been, what his family was up to, and how we had to slam the old media and destroy its lock on the political narrative. I never got the feeling he was bragging about any of it. It was just his life.
Later that day, in the early evening, a bunch of us grabbed dinner at a seafood place. Andrew was gobsmacked that I–a worldly Chicagoan–had never tried sushi before. He insisted I try it and ordered me up an introductory plateful.
I ate the whole thing like my mother taught me, and told the beaming Andrew that I was glad he introduced me to the delicacy. I suspect he knew I was lying (and I’ve never had another mouthful of the stuff since).
Still later that night, Andrew and I, together with three other folks, spent hours into the early morning talking about Drudge, politics, the media, the Huffington Post, music, movies, and a slew of other topics.
None of us in that room realized it would be the last time we’d get a chance to have such an intimate evening with Andrew Breitbart.
This event was far more exclusive, and less demanding on our time, than other events we’d attended, so I had more time to pal around with Andrew than I’d had previously. It was quite an excursion, but one that proved to me that Andrew was just as presented. There was no faux Andrew. He was a real, passionate, brilliant man. The Andrew Breitbart you all saw on stage was the same Andrew Breitbart in private. Gregarious, always in motion, fun and passionate.