Robert Novak

I first talked to Robert Novak 25 years ago, when I was a newly hired staffer at the Republican National Committee. After introducing himself, he handed down Novak rule No. 1. "In my world, you have a choice," he said. "You can be either a source or a target." I gulped and wisely chose the former. Thus began a lengthy friendship. Novak, who died of brain cancer on Aug. 18 at age 78, loved to dish. But he also pushed me to look around corners at what was really happening. He was a factor in Washington for nearly 50 years, first...

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