Wolf, the Prince of Darkness, and A-E-Pi-UPDATE


I wrote here in Robert Novak’s obit how he was a member of the Jewish fraternity when he was at the University of Illinois, but thereafter had little or no connection with Judaism.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer just told viewers that he and Novak would exchange the Alpha Epsilon Pi secret handshake whenever they met.

Transcript to come, but Blitzer did not mention that A-E-Pi is the national Jewish fraternity.

Gotta wonder what other secrets the AIPAC alum and the "lobby" hater exchanged.

Not so surprisingly, Blitzer makes the "well known alumni" list; Novak does not.


Here it is, from the transcript; Paul Begala, Democratic consultant, making the case for Novak the Catholic; Blitzer, making the case for Novak, the Jew; and Alex Castellanos, Republican consultant, making the case for Novak the blogger:

BLITZER: And let’s remember Bob Novak with two CNN contributors, Democratic strategist, Paul Begala and Republican strategist, Alex Castellanos.

Paul, you worked with him for a long time. Give us a thought.

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. I sat across that table from him on Crossfire for many years, before then, he covered me when I worked in the Clinton White House, a real reporter in addition to being highly opinionated, pretty rare nowadays. Very old school that way. Very fiery. Alex and I were laughing about this he was on crossfire one time and during commercial break, I continued badgering and heckering (ph) Alex and I was angry, bob was angry at me. He said, we call these guys guests for a reason, they are our guests and you are being rude to our guest and he was right. Bob could be rude but he was very old school though. And you know, he was my friend. We disagreed about almost everything but we found a little common ground, common love for sports a common faith in the catholic tradition. And a great love for politics. I will miss him. He was my friend.

BLITZER: He was a really seminal figure in Washington because his columns were widely read and very influential.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: For today’s generation, Bob Novak was a blogger before there was the internet. He was with "Evans and Novak" that was one of the first must-read, 1963, here’s what’s really going on behind the scenes. Imagine if you had the internet. He was a trail blazer in that regard, politically, too, yes, he was the dark side of the conservative movement, the prince of darkness, and not only I think was it an important part of the Reagan coalition, remember, he also was one of the biggest champions of Jack Kemp and sunshine conservatism, supply side economics, leave Americans some money in their pockets and they will do amazing in things. So there was a lot about Novak. He changed this country and for the better.

BLITZER: I always used to see him at sporting events, Redskins games, Wizards games, always there. He loved the University of Maryland, even though he went to the University of Illinois. And whenever he would see me and I have known him for 30 years, he would always take me aside and say, you know, "I was in a fraternity at the University of Illinois,’ and I was in the fraternity at Buffalo and woe give me the secret handshake. It was always vintage Bob Novak. He was always proud of that connection the two of us shared.

The transcriber misses Blitzer mentioning A-E-Pi; I believe it should read "I was in A-E-Pi fraternity at the University of Illinois…"

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