Robert Novak, long time conservative columnist and Ted Kennedy, long time U.S. Senator. The tie that binds is they both have malignant brain tumors. Other than being close to the same age that's where the similarity between the two men ends.
When news of Kennedy's affliction became public there was a tremendous outpouring of support from everyone he has touched during his political career. There seems to be little of the same for Mr. Novak, who too has had a long and illustrious career. I'm supposing it is because, as one reporter described him, he is pugnacious. A man who revels in his "Prince of Darkness" image.
I recall watching him over the years on Cross Fire and The Capital Gang. I distinctly remember that he didn't seem well liked by his fellow panelists. They were always taking shots at him and he absorbed them practically without notice. The first time I noted what he really might be like was when he swore and walked off the set during an interview.
Of course he is most famous for having "outed" Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative. I don't understand all the ins and outs of professional ethics at his level but that he was given a pass by everyone amazed and disturbed me. I guess when you break bread with Karl Rove you have a certain immunity - at least with this administration.
I'm thinking what goes around comes around. Especially when it comes to how you treat people and how they perceive you in return. When Tim Russert died unexpectedly the out pouring of sympathy equaled that for Kennedy. Both men, highly respected, are and were generous of spirit.
Novak, on the other hand, commented in an interview a year ago, "I'm 76 years old and I don't have much time on this earth. There's very little people can do to hurt me and so I say what I want to say."
The "Prince of Darkness" indeed. I wonder if it's lonely having such a title.