Friends Pay Tribute to Pat Caddell at Charleston Funeral

Pat Caddell speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Last respects to Pat Caddell, a longtime friend of Breitbart News, were paid on Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.

A solemn mass of Christian burial was held at the historic St. John the Baptist Church on Broad Street.  Then Caddell’s daughter, Heidi, hosted a wake at the the nearby Anson Restaurant, where friends spanning Caddell’s long and storied career celebrated his life.

Pat Caddell’s funeral mass program (Breitbart News)

The friends gathered to remember Caddell included author Ann Coulter; pollster Scott Rasmussen; former Democratic campaign colleagues Scott Miller, Doug Schoen, and Joe Trippi; former independent Kansas senatorial candidate Greg Orman; and Caddell’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Barnes.

A number of Caddell’s past colleagues at Fox News were also there, including Bill Shine, now deputy chief of staff at the White House, as well as Fox executive Martin Hinton, and former contributors John LeBoutillier and James Pinkerton.

Schoen served as the informal emcee of the remembrance gathering at Anson.  Himself a distinguished pollster and adviser to Democratic candidates and presidents, Schoen said, “When I was in college with Pat, I was in awe of him.”

In 1971 and 1972, while Caddell and Schoen were both attending Harvard, Caddell was also a top adviser to Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern.  Schoen marveled at how his Harvard classmate was able to  juggle both his academic and political duties.  Indeed, as Schoen recalled, Caddell needed to complete a swimming test in order to graduate, and because of his schedule, the swimming test was administered in New Hampshire under the watchful eye of a Harvard alumni, the famed journalist and author Theodore White, plus, for fun, the entire traveling press corps. Caddell graduated, although, of course, McGovern lost.

Friends gather to remember Pat Caddell at his wake on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Anson Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, following the funeral service at St. John the Baptist Church on Broad Street. (Breitbart News)

Other admirers filled in more colorful details.  Joe Trippi recalled that he and Caddell had worked numerous opposing Democratic campaigns—including the epic 1980 showdown between Caddell’s candidate, President Jimmy Carter, and Trippi’s candidate, Senator Teddy Kennedy—and as such, they did nothing but feud in public, even though there was a growing, albeit grudging, professional and personal respect between the two of them.  Then the wheel turned, and they were in business together.  And from there, the two men became fast friends to the end.

Others had stories of Caddell’s famous absent-mindedness (he would show up at campaign events without the right pants to wear), and his even more famous volatile temper (he would get in fights with parking meters and other machines), and his sometimes confusion (he would call someone up and yell, “I don’t have time to talk to you!”).

Yet Caddell’s political acumen always shone through.  He had, after all, helped guide McGovern to the nomination, Carter to the presidency, and dozens of other candidates to high office.

As Shine recalled, on Election Night 2016, when many at Fox News were ready to call the presidential contest for Hillary Clinton, Caddell was a lonely and brave voice yelling loudly, “No!”  Of course, Caddell was proven right about Trump.  Indeed, Shine told the assembled group that President Trump had personally asked him to pass along the condolences of the entire Trump family and the White House.

Finally, everyone in the room recalled that Caddell, to his last day, had an earnest love of God, country, and family.  His path in life was sometimes rocky; but his faith, his patriotism, and his love of family were always true.


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