Nearly 27 years ago, the great columnist David Broder wrote the inscription on the left for a college student with the temerity to ask for an audience with America’s most influential political columnist. Though it was a presidential election year, Mr. Broder welcomed the student to his crowded office at The Washington Post. For the next 30 minutes, he proceeded to critique in gentle but scholarly terms that student’s political science thesis.
A few years later, after graduation, this student was a speechwriter at the White House for then-Vice President Bush. Occasionally he would see Mr. Broder, usually on West Executive Avenue, which separates The White House and the Old Executive Office Building. Brief conversations were typically of the “what have you been hearing” variety and always enlightening.
In a town where egotism is considered an honored and highly competitive aspiration, Mr. Broder was always gracious and quietly impressive.
R.I.P., Mr. Broder. You will be missed.