A Bob Novak Story

I met Bob Novak once at the RightOnline conference in Austin. I quickly walked up to him and asked him for a picture. I got the impression he wasn’t wild about the idea, but he graciously smiled for the camera anyway:

John Hawkins and Bob Novak

My friend Emily Zanotti had been standing with me when Novak walked up and quickly, I turned, motioned her over towards us and started to say, “Mr. Novak, can you take a picture with my friend, Emily?”

However, in that brief instant, the old fella already must have been 30 feet away and was moving as fast as he possibly could without breaking into a trot.

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That may seem a little strange, but nobody took offense. When you rise to the top of your profession, as Bob Novak did, conservative conventions are tough duty because every person in the building knows who you are and wants to chat with you or take a picture.

It’s part of the price you pay to be great at what you do — and Bob Novak was. Although I didn’t always agree with Bob Novak, I did most of the time, and considered him to be the finest conservative reporter of a generation. His autobiography, The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington, was a treasure trove for political junkies. You can get a taste of what the book is like here, in my interview with Robert Novak.

While it’s sad to see a man like Robert Novak pass on, he did make his mark on politics and he had long, good life. That’s more than most people can say when they go to meet their maker.

Robert Novak, if you’re up there reading this, just know that you made an impact and you will be missed.

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