At Saturday’s South Carolina National Security Action Summit, I had the privilege of kicking off the event.
Multiple things happened in the final 12 hours leading up to the event which had the potential of dramatically changing the outcome. I can’t share all of it, but I will share two things:
- First, bad weather and plane mechanical failures prevented panelists and speakers from coming or arriving on schedule. One of those individuals was Frank Gaffney – who without any sleep, having to drive through the night rather than fly directly to Columbia the night before, arrived literally a few minutes before the program began.
- Second, at the very beginning of the program, we were having technical difficulty with the webcast – pushing our event start time from 9 AM to almost 9:20 AM.
As a result, when the time came to introduce Frank Gaffney, the moderator of the day’s event, I cut my comments drastically short. I want to share with the American Public who watched in person, and those who will watch Saturday’s event on the web, my full comments about Frank Gaffney:
“I want to introduce to you someone I have admired for a very long time. You can review his bio on the website and in numerous places, but I want to say something personal about Frank. There is a lot about his professional career, but most important to me is he is a man who has stood on principle in an arena where that is very difficult to do. I have seen him be challenged on those principles by people who should be our friends.
In addition to Frank and his organization, The Center for Security Policy, having a track record of over 25 years providing clear and concise analysis to the National Security threats our republic has and will continue to face, he is a servant leader.
Frank Gaffney has an understanding of the fact that it will take a broad coalition of leaders, organizations and citizens to address the issues we face. And it is in that vein he routinely organizes coalitions which put others rather than just himself in the front of the room.
Furthermore, Frank has an uncanny ability to see the good in others, help them identify what their strengths and abilities are – and then allow them to go to work alongside the effort, empowering them to succeed or fail on their own merits.
In this relay race of life, where we must pass the baton from one generation to the next to “go and do the same” Frank’s unique gifts and talents, and willingness to promote other’s work is what enables an event like today to take place. It is the type of leadership we need at this moment in history and I am profoundly grateful to Frank Gaffney for his leadership, his scholarly work, his clear and concise articulation of the issues we face, and his friendship.”
The entire Summit can be viewed by clicking the Image below. Once we have the panels and key-note speeches in separate clips, we will let you know. Please note the event actually starts at minute 5:48.