William F. Buckley, Jr. was the intellectual leader of the American conservative movement for fifty years. A traditional and devout Catholic, his Catholic education, philosophy and being informed his public discourse. He founded National Review, wrote several highly influential books, notable among them “God and Man at Yale”, and was a columnist and commentator of influence.

I first encountered his writings through National Review, then read God and Man at Yale. I met him during college, and after I had somewhat obsequiously related the influence he had had on me he remarked that he felt like George Bush being nominated for president by one of his sons. I think my favorite book of his, one that shows his satirical wit at its best, is “The Unmaking of a Mayor”, a humorous account of his run for mayor of New York as the conservative party candidate– a campaign that in many ways defused the national aspirations of liberal Republican New York Mayor John Lindsey.
As to that race, a description from one of the obits today:

In 1965, Mr. Buckley tried his hand at politics, running for mayor of New York on the Conservative Party ticket. Asked how many votes he expected to get, he replied, “Conservatively speaking, one.” In fact, he ended up with 13.4 percent of the vote. The idea hadn’t been to win office — he once said that his first act if elected would be to demand a recount — but gain attention for Mr. Buckley’s ideas. His strong showing was the first indication that the Goldwater debacle of the year before might be not an end but a beginning.

He was a giant. Requiescat in pace.