William F. Buckley, Jr. has died. I’ll post my thoughts a bit later. For now, I urge you to head to NRO’s Corner to read the many tributes already posted there.
UPDATE: I’m a relatively recent convert to conservatism, but a long-time admirer of Buckley. During the late 1970s, Firing Line was the only non-sports television program I watched regularly. Though I resisted many of Buckley’s ideas at that time, they remained in the back of my head and assisted in my subsequent movement to the right.
I finally met Buckley last May at a dinner in New York. It was held on the roof of a church in mid-town Manhattan. I encountered Buckley in the lobby of the church. I was holding back issues of Commentary, which I had scooped up at the last minute (instead of my back issues of National Review) to read on the train to New York. I introduced myself and then apologized for carrying “the wrong magazine.” Buckley chuckled and, as we took the church elevator together, proceeded to offer his commentary on Norman Podhoretz’s latest article on how to deal with Iran.
The encounter lasted for perhaps three minutes, but that was long enough for me to witness Buckley’s wit, graciousness and intellectual power — the same traits that had made me a regular Firing Line viewer all those years ago. What a thrill (and piece of good fortune) to have had that conversation.
PRESIDENT BUSH on WFB:
Q Any thoughts on Buckley?
THE PRESIDENT: I just had the