It was a sad day last week when Wes Goodman left the Republican Study Committee, where he was Director of Conservative Outreach under the leadership of Congressman Jim Jordan. Wes is a solid Christian man, a classic gentleman in an age of few, a bleeding-heart conservative, and one of the most faithful allies for so many of us that his departure from the RSC will be a real loss. He’s not passing away, so don’t confuse this with an obituary, but is meant to be
my personal tribute to him and his work at the RSC.
I first met Wes in the summer of 2008, the summer after my first year at the University of Virginia, when I was interning on Capitol Hill and my roommate in intern housing was interning for Rep. Jordan, for whom Wes was a staff assistant at the time. Wes kindly invited over their interns to his apartment for a party and was so generous to tell them they could even bring their roommates as well, and thus I ended at the apartment of some guy named Wes Goodman. Wes had no obligation to invite interns to his place, especially in a Capitol Hill culture where interns are treated like second-class citizens, and his decision to do so speaks volumes of his character. Although it was a simple invite, it meant a lot to us.
I stayed in touch with Wes over the next few years and he was always gracious to provide feedback on the crazy ideas I’d propose. Then he became Director of Conservative Outreach for the RSC at the same time I became Executive Director of Let Freedom Ring and moved to Washington, DC, allowing us to work more closely together to advance conservatism.
When you fight alongside someone like Wes, it feels like you’re a part of a band of brothers, fellow soldiers with an indescribable bond that never leaves you. Wes is the soldier you want to fight with: loyal, committed, ever optimistic, and has a sense of humor to get you through it all.
One battles so many of us particularly cherished fighting alongside Wes was the 2011 debt ceiling ordeal. It was Wes who came up with the phrase “Cut, Cap, Balance” to describe conservatives’ pre-condition to raising the debt ceiling; a simple phrase, but a powerful one that captured the mind of the nation.
Whatever you decide to do next my friend, best wishes and know that the conservative movement will always be grateful for your service at the Republican Study Committee.