Delivered by Walter Pincus at the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC July 14, 2005
I want to thank Nancy,
Stacey, and Tina for giving us this opportunity to
share what Fred brought to our lives.
The public Fred is what I want to talk about
In doing that I put together some traits you all will recognize.
First off there is Honesty. Fred was for me one of the most honest men I
have known and though in this town that might not be many, he was one of
There is an old saying that “In an honest man there is something of a
child.” Fred had that childlike honesty, things just came out of him and
yhou knew they were the facts as he knew them, the thoughts as they came to
him, the view he thought was true whether they pleased you or not.
The there was Discretion. You could tell Fred you deepest thoughts your
most worrisome feelings, even if you had one your greatest fears and you
knew he could keep a confidence.
Then with discretion came Loyalty. Loyal to his friends, loyalty to his
bosses, to his employer whether the President or the Saudi ambassador.
“Loyalty” it is said, “is the holiest good in the human heart.
But Fred’s loyalty to friends, bosses, employers was not Blind Loyalty. He
could talk descreetly about Pat Brown’s failings, about j\Jack Kennedy’s
weaknesses. He was Blindly Loyal only for the country, the constitution,
the electoral process and was constantly trying tothink of ways to make
Modest. Fred was modest. Name one other national campaign manager about
whom you could say that.
Finally Fred was a mentor. I can’t count the times, beginning when we first
met in the early 1960s when I was doing my first sabbatical running an
investigation for Sen. Fulbright when he started giving me the best advice
I could get. In those days I was so impressed I once suggested in 1968 that
Fred someday would make a great presidential candidate. His advice over the
years was impeccable, down to our conversation earlier this year at an
event when I went to where he was sitting and he went over some stories I
had recently written and talked aobut ways to follow up, or get another
A mentor to all, who was honest, discreet, modest and Loyal. In a city
filled with knaves Fred was a prince of a man.
Now cracks a nobile heart, Shakespeare said, Good Night Sweet Prince and
fights of angels sing thee to they rest.