In January of last year, few people expected Ron Paul to run for president—least of all Ron Paul himself. He was prodded to make the decision by some of his long-time friends and political allies. One of them was Kent Snyder, a former staffer whom Paul appointed to lead his exploratory committee. When Paul officially launched the campaign "in response to many requests," Snyder became his campaign chairman. He grabbed a seat in the cockpit for the wildest libertarian campaign in American history.
On Thursday, Snyder died from pneumonia-related complications. He was 49 years old. Former RP2008 blogger Dan McCarthy remembers him well:
Kent had extensively studied Eastern philosophy and Buddhism as well as the traditions of Western liberty, and he was drawn to the peacefulness of the Quakers. He embodied the best traits of all those traditions: calm and kind-spirited in the face of all adversity. His passing is a bigger loss to those who knew him, even those who only knew him slightly, than I can say. A terrible loss for the Ron Paul Revolution as well, to which Kent devoted his life (he even wrote his MA thesis on Dr. Paul) and which he did so much—more than anyone else but Dr. Paul himself—to set into motion.
I spent a lot of time critiquing Snyder's decisons and strategy, but I'd agree with McCarthy that Snyder was the warmest and most approachable man on the RP totem pole. If there's any consolation here, it's that he spent his last year watching his friend and hero become a national political figure, pounding home the same themes and ideas the both of them had worked out for years.