Andrew Breitbart was known for a lot of things. He often told of his conversion from a liberal to a conservative. He not only helped launch The Huffington Post, but also built his own website, Breitbart.com, which today has many articles remembering him. He was known for ridiculous and laughable stories, including his run-in with ACORN people and Occupy protesters. His presence was always a big deal at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can watch his 2012 and 2011 speeches on YouTube.
He was known for many of these things and was a popular name among those who loved him or hated him. Andrew Breitbart wasn’t exactly most known for his pro-life position, at least not until just weeks before his death.
Although this year CPAC will be held in March, the conference used to be held in February. Students for Life of America was holding a pro-life forum before the conference started on the morning of Friday, February 10, 2012. I’ll admit right off the bat that I was there for former Senator and then-presidential candidate Rick Santorum. I even wrote about it back when I wrote a few articles for The Fordham Gazette. A lot of other names seemed typical, such as Mike Huckabee, Rebecca Kiesling, Gary Bauer, etc. But the person who was the biggest pleasant surprise to me was Andrew Breitbart. I didn’t think I had ever heard him speak about pro-life or pro-choice.
As it turned out, nobody else had, either. On that Friday morning, Andrew Breitbart gave his pro-life testimony for the first time. Though he hadn’t discussed it before, the issue was very important to Andrew, because he had been adopted. He even called it “the most important issue.”
From the times I’d heard him given speeches, I could tell that Andrew liked to rant off stories, and he did joke about his ADD. He got his point across, though, and people either absolutely loved him or hated him for it. But I could tell, as could everyone else present, that this was a heartfelt and deep story. I left the event excited, not just because I had stood so unbelievably close to Rick Santorum, but also because our side had someone really cool: Andrew Breitbart!
I still remember finding out about Andrew Breitbart’s death. I was on the Ram Van (Fordham’s shuttle to and from their different campuses) on my way to class at Lincoln Center when I decided to check my Facebook. I saw a notification (I think from Fox News) that Andrew Breitbart, only 43 years old, had died.
I called my boyfriend in tears and disbelief. We had just heard this man speak not even three weeks ago. How could he be dead?
God works in mysterious ways, though, and His timing doesn’t always make sense to us. I knew that during his relatively short but extremely influential life, Andrew had inspired a lot of people, myself included. The comfort I was able to take in Andrew’s death, despite it being so shocking, was that the timing was interesting – even kind of eerily coincidental. Of the 43 years of Andrew’s life, it wasn’t until his last 20 days that he shared his pro-life testimony. I was thankful, then, that he had been allowed to share that before he left us here.
Andrew may not be here with us in person anymore, and his presence will sorely be missed at CPAC 2013. I know I would have looked forward to the hilarious and possibly wild speech he would have made. The memorials will be touching, no doubt, but of course we all wish that he had been granted more time. But again, we cannot always understand God’s timing or decisions.
I mentioned that Andrew has inspired me. I hope someday to be as influential as he had been, during whatever time I may have. It’s a lofty goal, but not impossible to achieve.
I am so glad that Andrew’s birth mother chose life, that she gave the world someone who wasn’t just funny, but also a brave warrior who inspired so many. Though he lived a short life, Andrew did so much, and he is truly a man to admire.