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ruth fleischer

Thanks for writing this. While I never met Offner I thought he performed an important function in DC's policy world. He wrote clearly about subjects he understood. This was almost unique. If he made a point about a particular program you knew that it was motivated by a desire to make the program work better and not out of a need to push for a particular political line or pump himself up. Too much of what gets published on the op-ed pages of the Times and Post is little more that prejudice -- no reporting and no research. Not so with Offner's work.

Molly CollinsOffner

Thank you for the lovely eulogy for my husband. I will add it to a book I am creating for our three year old daughter.

Molly Collins Offner


This comment seems inappropriate after Molly Collins Offner's response to your eulogy of Paul.

But I want to say something about Senator Moynihan. I checked back to the Prospect article you linked. My first encounter of substance with Senator Moynihan was in the early 90's. It was a fundraising lunch of Women for Moynihan. At One in the afternoon, he was already not sober. And he kept drinking as he pulled out a yellowed piece of newsprint with those very same teenage birth statistics in the black community. Usually when a constituent speaks with an elected official, they pretend to listen and care about your opinion. Not Moynihan. Using that article he proceeded to give me a lengthy mini lecture on minority cultural irresponsibility. I personally never saw him sober. I asked others if they had seen him sober recently. I did not get positive responses.

I think his inability to be an effective legislator who actually got things done in Congress in his last years was due to the debilitating effect of his drinking on his energy and thought processes. I am amazed at the degree to which the press had protected him and to this day protects him. Those rosy cheeks and nose were not sunburn.

Jack Krauskopf

There are not many people in public service who have Paul Offner's qualities of superior analytic ability, absolute intergrity in expressing and acting on his policy conclusions, and determination to keep engaging in the most important public issues from so many different angles and positions. I knew Paul best when he was a graduate student and later when he was State Senator from LaCrosse, Wisconsin and I was working in the state Department of Health and Social Services for Manny Carballo, another brilliant public servant who died much too soon. After that, I had to settle for Paul's New Republic and other writings and occasional meetings in Washington or New York to be refreshed by his forceful arguments, sharp wit, and constant focus on what mattered in social policy. Hard to believe that there will not be any more of that.


I learned only recently of Paul Offner's passing. I knew him when he was medicaid director in DC. A very very bright and interesting man in a political morass that may have amazed even one used to the machinations of capitol hill. I am sadden by his loss.

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