Bob Beckel, the Democratic strategist and former co-host of The Five, died Monday. He was 73.
Cal Thomas, the syndicated columnist announced Beckel’s death in a Facebook posting.
My friend and spiritual brother, Bob Beckel, has passed into the presence of the Lord he loved. We did so many things together and I hope we modeled what two people of different political persuasions can be like when they love one another. For ten years we wrote the “Common Ground” column for USA Today and a book by that title. The name of his ironically titled autobiography is “I Should Be Dead.” It is a highly readable book about a difficult life that was dramatically changed in the last 15 years. I will see you soon Bob. You are loved.Cal Thomas
Sean Hannity paid tribute to his “dear friend” Monday night, saying “he and I got along great” despite their politics, saying he “had a key to my house” and that Hannity’s own children would call him “Uncle Bob.”
“He was always full of joy, happiness, light, sunshine. He loved God and Jesus and we miss him already. God bless you, God speed, Bob Beckel,” Hannity said.
Laura Ingraham called Beckel an “old-time liberal who you could fight with… but we always had a laugh afterward.”
While the Fox News audience may have known Beckel as a curmudgeon, the folks who lived in his neighborhood knew him for a different reason — he turned his house into a winter wonderland at Christmastime.
Here’s how Politico described Beckel’s incredible light displays:
It’s been a dream of Beckel’s ever since he was a kid, when he’d be disappointed seeing his alcoholic father “come in and pass out under the Christmas tree.”
“I promised myself that when I got out on my own, that I would do the decorations to the max,” Beckel told POLITICO.
Things get under way around Thanksgiving, and he says it takes full four days “just to get the base of it together.”
“The neighbors look out the window wondering, ‘Who is that crazy guy stringing lights?’” Beckel said.
Beckel served as deputy assistant secretary of state during the Carter administration and, later, the campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign.
Sometimes, the biggest complainer about the whole ordeal is Beckel himself.
“My electricity bill is unbelievable. I almost put up a sign this year saying, ‘This one is for you, Pepco,’” referring to his neighborhood’s power provider. “It runs several thousand dollars.”
He added, “More and more kids will come up to me before I put out the decorations and knock on the door and say, ‘Mr. Beckel, are you going to put up decorations this year?’ I’ve thought about not doing it because it’s a pain in the ass. It’s a lot of work. But I can’t turn the kids down.”
The biggest kid, of course, is Beckel himself, who proudly marks his display with a sign that tells passersby: “This display is for all the kids in Brookmont and the big kid who lives here.”Politico
Beckel is survived by his wife and two children, whom he loved dearly.