Andy Jacobs died this weekend. The brand of politics he practiced predeceased him.
I was the Republican candidate who ran against Andy in 1980. It was a hard-fought campaign, but hard-fought didn’t imply the sort of mud-throwing and character assassination we have become accustomed to. Andy suggested that some of my positions were uninformed; I argued that he was ineffective. When Andy retired from Congress, Bill Hudnut and I were among those invited to “roast” him, and I admitted that during the heat of the campaign I had called him a name…I had called him a Democrat.
Andy didn’t hold grudges against political opponents. His friendship with Bill Hudnut–who actually defeated him before he won back his Congressional office– is legendary. Not too many years after I ran against him, my youngest son served as his Congressional Page. Andy and I would go on to have an occasional lunch together, and from time to time, he would comment favorably, via email, on columns I’d written.
We probably agreed more than we disagreed. When the Iraq War started, he and I shared the stage at a protest rally on Monument Circle. I seldom saw him after that, and I knew his health was deteriorating.
Indianapolis will miss Andy Jacobs.
The whole country is poorer for the loss of generosity of spirit and the politics of principle he characterized.