25 June 2007

Guy Vander Jagt

Former Michigan Congressman Guy Vander Jagt died last week of cancer at the age of 75 and many remembered him as a tireless Republican who gave his heart and soul of our party. He was more than that - he was gentle caring guy who would go anywhere anytime to help a Republican - especially during his tenure as head of the Republican National Congressional Committee.

For eight years, from 1978 to the time he lost a 1992 primary, Vander Jagt raised millions for Republican candidates including Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson, Gary A. Franks among others who didn't make it to Washington. In many ways he paved the way for the 1994 revolution by encouraging and fighting for his beliefs. Born in Cadillac, Michigan, Vander Jagt was a brilliant orator and gave probably the best keynote address in recent memory when in 1980 he gave a booming stem winder from memory to rally the convention for Ronald Reagan.

Vander Jagt had no airs about him. He would treat staffers and interns with the same deference as Presidents and Senators. He enjoyed a drink and smoke and a round of golf and made no apologies for ripping the bark of Democrats.

We owe a lot to those who toiled in the minority for years and never quit, Vander Jagt was such a man and we are poorer for his passing.


Anonymous said...

very nice and well deserved