President Bush acknowledged that conservative commentator Tony Snow had been critical of his administration on occasion. But Bush made Snow his White House press secretary anyway last April.
Tony Snow has been one of President Bush's best appointments.
The former Bush 41 speechwriter was brought in to stabilize a relationship with the Washington press corps that had metastasized into an unhealthy state. The affable, unflappable Snow quickly put out the fires - and in the past year has become an oasis of functionality in an otherwise chaotic administration.
Snow can't do for himself what he did for his president. No amount of goodwill or straightforwardness or humor will rid him of the cancer that he once had on the run, but which now has made a comeback.
Once having beaten colon cancer, Snow now finds that it has returned with a vengeance to his liver, an alarming development that sent a second cancer-induced shock wave through the political landscape after Elizabeth Edwards' cancer recurrence. He was as stoic as she was.
"It may take awhile, but I'll be back," Snow said.
We hope so. Not for political reasons. Politics melts away at times like this. "Elizabeth and I were saddened to hear the news," said Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.
Indeed, it's important to support each other at times like this, no matter the ideological or philosophical divide. But some people tend to attract that kind of universal support more than others. Snow is one.
"Nobody dislikes Tony Snow," writes columnist Cal Thomas.
But now he has more than affection and respect. He's got a lot of prayers to go with them.