Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Bob Beckel, campaign manager, commentator and former Fox News co-host, dies at 73

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Mr. Beckel’s profession in politics started in 1968 throughout Robert F. Kennedy’s run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sixteen years later, as Mondale’s campaign supervisor, he helped the former vice chairman safe the get together’s nomination after overcoming an early loss to Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.) within the New Hampshire major.

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Mr. Beckel was broadly credited with borrowing a line from a then-popular Wendy’s hamburger business — “Where’s the beef?” — which Mondale used to criticize Hart throughout a debate. Hart’s campaign quickly imploded, and Mondale went on to face incumbent Ronald Reagan within the basic election. In one of the crucial lopsided presidential elections in historical past, Mondale received solely D.C. and his house state of Minnesota.

“I decided I didn’t want to do any more campaigns,” Mr. Beckel informed The Washington Post in 1991. “When you manage the largest loss in American politics, nobody is particularly asking you, either.”

He established a consulting agency and suggested main organizations on media methods. He additionally started a second profession as a political commentator, and by the early Nineties, Mr. Beckel was usually seen on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Fox’s “Off the Record” and accuratenewsinfo’s “Crossfire.” He additionally had a long-running point-counterpoint column in USA Today with conservative author Cal Thomas.

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“Only in America,” Mr. Beckel stated in 1988, “can a guy manage a campaign that loses 49 states in one election season and then be on television analyzing the next one.”

Often carrying bright-colored suspenders, the gravel-voiced Mr. Beckel was an virtually every day presence on Fox applications, as one of many few left-leaning commentators on the conservative cable community.

In 2011, he was named a co-host of “The Five,” a preferred roundtable dialogue program that included, at totally different instances, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Jesse Watters. He was usually the lone liberal voice on the panel.

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Mr. Beckel supported the insurance policies of President Barack Obama, however he additionally courted controversy with a few of his statements about Muslims and altering social mores. He known as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “a traitor,” including, “I’m not for the death penalty, so … there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot” him.

After Islamic extremists killed 12 folks at the workplace of the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo, Mr. Beckel declared, “I am an Islamophobe. That’s right — you can call me that all you want.”

Early in his tenure on “The Five,” Mr. Beckel talked about he was a recovering addict who had struggled with alcohol and cocaine. In 2015, he took a go away from the present for again surgical procedure, then sought therapy for dependence on painkillers. During his absence, he was fired by Fox.

“We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold ‘The Five’ hostage to one man’s personal issues,” Bill Shine, who was govt vice chairman of programming, stated at the time in a press release.

In January 2017, Mr. Beckel was reinstated as a co-host of “The Five,” solely to be dismissed 4 months later for allegedly making a racially insensitive comment to a Black know-how employee at Fox News.

Mr. Beckel informed a St. Louis radio speak present in 2019 that the incident “didn’t happen” and that his second firing from Fox had been “completely set up by someone.”

“This was not about a racist comment,” he stated. “This was because I was the loudest voice on that network against Donald Trump.”

Robert Gilliland Beckel was born Nov. 15, 1948, in New York City and grew up in Lyme, Conn. His father was a highschool and faculty trainer and civil rights advocate. His mom had been a mannequin. Both dad and mom have been alcoholics, Mr. Beckel wrote in a 2015 memoir, “I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction.”

Mr. Beckel performed soccer at Wagner College on Staten Island, graduating in 1970. He served within the Peace Corps within the Philippines in 1971 and 1972, then turned lively in Democratic political campaigns. He joined the State Department in 1977 and, as a liaison with Congress, participated in President Jimmy Carter’s effort to win passage of the Panama Canal Treaty. He was in command of Carter’s 1980 Texas reelection operation in opposition to Reagan.

In 2000, Mr. Beckel publicly known as on electors in Florida to overturn George W. Bush’s slim victory within the state over Democratic candidate Al Gore. Gore rejected such a transfer, and Mr. Beckel’s enterprise companions break up with him over the plan, resulting in the breakup of his consulting agency.

The evening earlier than Bush was inaugurated in 2001, Mr. Beckel later wrote in his memoir, he was consuming closely at a seedy bar in Maryland. After he made a move at a married lady, her jealous husband appeared with a handgun, pointed it at Mr. Beckel’s face and pulled the set off. The gun misfired.

Afterward, Mr. Beckel was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward, sought therapy for habit and stated he turned a born-again Christian.

He later expressed regret for his function in selling political division within the nation and in 2007 revealed a e book written with Thomas, “Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America.”

“I was one of those people adding fuel to this partisan fire,” Mr. Beckel stated.

His marriage to Leland Ingham resulted in divorce. Survivors embrace two kids, MacKenzie Beckel of New York and Robert Alexander Beckel of Silver Spring; a sister; and a brother.

Mr. Beckel’s bare-knuckled strategy to politics didn’t at all times finish on Election Day. In 2007, whereas sitting in his automotive in a parking zone in Bethesda, Md., he observed two building commenting on his bumper stickers disparaging Bush and Republicans.

“Boys, get away from the bumper stickers,” Mr. Beckel stated, getting out of his automotive, as he later informed The Post.

“You got no respect for the presidency,” one of many employees stated.

“I certainly do,” Mr. Beckel responded. “It’s this president that I have very little respect for.”

A fistfight ensued, with the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Mr. Beckel ending up with a black eye whereas knocking one of many males to the pavement.

“I’m sort of asking for trouble,” Mr. Beckel stated of his bumper stickers. But “they’ll stay exactly where they are — proudly.”

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