I know that for various reasons, there hasn't been a lot of politics, or much else, discussed here lately, and for that I apologize. But I have to write a post that I simply never imagined writing. Earlier tonight, I was informed that one of my closest friends, Pat Botterman, had a heart attack and died. Just writing that is simply surreal.
Most of you might know Pat as the Wheeling Township Democratic Committeeman, and as the foundation and conductor of numerous campaigns, big and small. Pat won some big ones and lost some big ones, but if you spoke with him the day after a campaign, he would be the same after a loss as he was after a win. It was not that he didn't care, far from it. He just had an ability to put things in perspective that I will always envy.
Pat is the one person in politics who I have ever met who would NEVER back away from a fight, big or small, as long as he believed in it. For that trait, many loathed him. For that trait, I will always respect him.
But if you really knew him, you knew that he was as genuine, as solid, a person as you could ever hope to meet. Stoic, loyal, fiercely independent, unflappable, he was great at what he did in politics, and loved doing it.
More importantly, he had a contentment and perspective on life that never ceased to amaze me. We traveled to political events around the country, and each trip gave me the chance to know him a little better. And while I never saw him laugh hard, his absurdly dry humor made him as funny a person as I ever met.
When I was driving to Springfield this afternoon, Pat called me, as it turns out, shortly before he died. I was on the other line, and I told him that I would call him back in a little bit. I never did. I'm so sorry.
God bless you Pat. You'll be missed.