Since then, there have been endless discussions about how best to honor his memory, pondering over whether anyone could possibly fill his shoes.
As I look back over the past year, I’m sad to admit that I think we as a conservative movement are doing a very poor job of carrying on Andrew’s legacy.
Now, I don’t claim to speak for Andrew. I never worked for him and I certainly wasn’t one of his inner circle. But I was privileged to get to know him during the last year of his life. One of my all-time favorite interviews ever was the one with him about his book, Righteous Indignation, and I spent time with him at CPAC Florida and CPAC 2012, and saw him speak at countless other blogger conferences and conservative gatherings. I think it’s fair to say I was able to observe a lot about what made the man tick. I admired him greatly and considered him a friend, as did so many others who describe him in terms very similar to what I’m writing here in this post.
One of the best qualities about Andrew was that he was exuberantly, enthusiastically, almost overwhelmingly, encouraging. Thinking about blogging? Great! He’d tell you to just start writing, and often invite you to submit story ideas to his websites as well. Have a story you want to investigate? Andrew would tell you to just go for it, and probably introduce you to someone who could help you. Remember his constant reminders that all we needed was a smartphone and we were all investigative reporters? Anyone who heard him speak at any of the conferences noticed he was so talented at not just getting the crowd fired up, but fired up to go do something, specifically to do something that expanded the reach of the conservative message.
Andrew Breitbart was a one-man cheerleading team for the entire conservative movement. He was a walking, talking idea factory, going a million miles a minute, wanting everyone to write, organize, knock on doors, launch investigations, research history and legislation, even run for office, just go, go, go. Hearing that someone had decided to get involved – in whatever way they could – always brought a grin to his face.