Ben Wattenberg, conservative author and PBS host, and long-time member of the extended Jackson circle, died on Sunday at the age of 81. Wattenberg was a confidant of Senator Jackson, working closely with the Jackson campaigns in both 1972 and 1976 when Jackson launched presidential campaigns. Wattenberg believed that the Democratic party had moved too far to the left, and he promoted Jackson’s candidacy with passion and skill.
Wattenberg gained national attention with the publication of his book “The Real Majority,” coauthored with Richard Scammon. It came to be known as the “Bible of both political parties” and touched on many issues which have since come to the forefront of national politics, including crime, race, and traditional economic concerns.
In later years he continued his role as an outspoken and well-regarded pundit, becoming well-known for his PBS series, “Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg” and “In Search of the Real America.”
When Ben presented the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Lecture for the Jackson Foundation in 1996, entitled “Values Matter Most: Issues of the Contemporary American Political Scene,” Foundation Chairwoman Helen Jackson introduced him with the following words: “Scoop admired Ben for his tremendous grasp on the pulse of the country and the American people. Few commentators have proved to be so prescient.”
We are proud of our association with Ben and of his commitment to core American values as well as to the Jackson legacy. He will be missed. Please see the obituary from the New York Times.
Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director