When Tony Snow took over as press secretary 2 years ago, the White House press corps wanted blood. Snow’s predecessors, the hostile Ari Fleischer and misinformed Scott McClellan, had left a bad taste in their mouths. But then came Snow, a breath of fresh air who won over the room with his knowledge and wit, writes Massimo Calabresi of Time.
Snow was a vociferous defender of the administration, but his expertise helped reporters do their jobs. And his mistakes seemed less galling, because he was willing to admit to them. When he returned after cancer treatment, the room applauded. “Not everybody will survive cancer,” he said. “You have got to realize you've got the gift of life, so make the most of it.” (Read more obituary stories.)