On June 5 a longtime writer for this magazine assumed his final repose at a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, Vic Gold. Vic wrote on a wide range of issues here at AmSpec, always with intelligence, style, and a hint of aggressiveness that suggested he was capable of a lot more — a lot more aggressiveness if you rubbed him wrong. He had a long life in politics extending from serving as Barry Goldwater’s deputy press secretary in 1964 to assisting his friend George H.W. Bush in the 1980s. I still have on my walls handwritten letters from Mr. Bush joshing to me about one aspect or another of our spirited friend’s reactions to political life and, of course, to one of his passions, football at the University of Alabama.
Vic was a uniquely combative writer. He picked up his favorite weapon, a pen, many times for us, and now with his passing I can identify two occasions on which he was particularly effective.
There was the time when Dan Quayle, then vice president, answered a query, I think it was from the Wall Street Journal, as to if he ever read The American Spectator. Dan said something to the effect that he found this magazine — a magazine edited by his old friend R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.—hard to read, unlike the New Republic, say. That did it. Writing under an assumed name Vic wrote the cover piece in the next magazine called “The Danny Quayle Reader.” The Indianapolis Star dropped my syndicated column.
Then there was my book, The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. I wrote it with “Anonymous.” For years Anonymous was rumored to be Ted Olson, the Solicitor General. Well, now it can be told. It was Vic Gold. In his lifetime he wanted to keep his identity a secret. Well now you know, and Ted is finally off the hook.
Safe travels, Vic.