Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.
Earlier, Blankley spent six years in the Reagan administration in a variety of positions, including speechwriter and senior policy analyst.
From 2002 to 2007, he served as editorial page editor of The Washington Times. In recent years, he also wrote a syndicated newspaper column and provided political commentary for CNN, NBC and NPR. He was also a regular panelist on "The McLaughlin Group."
He was the author of two books and a visiting senior fellow in national security communications at the Heritage Foundation.
Born in London, Blankley moved to California with his parents as a child and became a naturalized American citizen. He worked as a child actor in the 1950s, appearing in such TV shows as "Lassie" and "Highway Patrol" and playing Rod Steiger's son in the movie "The Harder They Fall."
Before entering politics, he spent 10 years as a prosecutor with the California attorney general's office.
Blankley and Davis lived in Great Falls, Va. In addition to Davis, he is survived by three children.
For seven years, Tony Blankley served as press secretary to then Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich. In that role, Tony Blankley not only helped create messages which shook the country, Tony Blankley also helped create policy. Tony Blankley’s knack for appetizing soundbites (which Tony Blankley calls his "poor-man’s poetry") and sound political strategy made Tony Blankley one of Washington’s premiere sources of ideas and insights.
Working for the most renowned Speaker in decades, Blankley became one of the leading spokesmen for the Contract with America. Prior to Tony Blankley's career on Capitol Hill, Blankley served President Reagan as a speechwriter and senior policy analyst.
After leaving Gingrich’s office in February 1997, Blankley joined the staff of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s George magazine. As a contributing editor, Blankley’s monthly column "Between the Lines" featured his inside-the-beltway insights. Blankley also appears regularly on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, as well as CNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Rivera Live, The News with Brian Williams and MSNBC. In June 1999, Blankley joined The Washington Times as a weekly political columnist. In June 2002, Tony Blankley was named editorial page editor.
The same depth of knowledge and sharp wit that kept reporters turning to Tony Blankley during his time on Capitol Hill have made Blankley one of today’s leading media commentators. Tony Blankley's opinions and analysis of political events have been featured on the front pages of The New York Times, USA Today, and other major publications, and Tony Blankley was a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.
Blankley has quickly become a favorite speaker of corporate and association audiences around the country. Tony Blankley uses his background in both the executive and congressional branches to design speeches which provide insight into today’s headlines, and the issues that will fill tomorrow’s.
In addition to being a popular speaker, Blankley is an accomplished debater. Clients have paired him with the likes of Bill Press and Bob Beckel, among other noted Democratic pundits, to create a uniquely informative and provocative program. Whether delivering a keynote or debating, Blankley gives his audience more than just analysis. Focusing on the personalities and stories which make politics interesting, Tony Blankley helps audiences remember the information long after they leave the event.
Almost all political commentators agree on one thing. The Republican presidential campaign is unlike any we have experienced. It is not a campaign of steady trends and continuities, but rather of emotional reversals and discontinuities.
One of the nice things about human history is that no matter how much people or their leaders misjudge events and make a hash of things, within a few centuries, the debris is cleared away, and we can have another go at getting things right.
As a technical matter, many, if not most, congressional historians believe that conscious, congressional partisanship in recent times did not start with the Tea Party or Obama or Bush or Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton in the 90s.
As we approach the festive season -- the elongated, enchanting month from Thanksgiving through Christmas to New Years -- my mind has been drifting through various memorable past holidays.
A just released book, "Bowing to Beijing" by Brett M. Decker and William C. Triplett II, will change forever the way you think about China -- even if, like me, you already have the deepest worries about the Chinese threat. As I opened the book, I was expecting to find many useful examples of Chinese military and industrial efforts to get the better of the United States and the West.
Here's a thought: The GOP presidential primaries may well prove to be inconclusive, with the nominee actually being chosen at the convention in Tampa, Fla., in the fourth week of August next year.
Now is a particularly dangerous moment for American national security interests. Not just because threats are growing. Not just because the current administration is making a historic bungle from China to Iraq to Iran to Russia to Europe to Mexico to our historic allies in the Middle East -- both Jewish and Muslim. All that would be bad enough.
No one should miscalculate America's resolve and commitment to helping support the Iraqi democracy.
For the past few years, fear of China's predatory mercantilism has been steadily growing in America, both amongst the public and in elite business and political circles. But last week, for the first time, one could discern the genuine possibility that America might actually do something about it -- even if it means a trade war.
How dangerous is the European financial condition? On Monday, while stock markets from the DAX and FTSE to the New York Stock Exchange were up sharply on report of French and German cooperative murmurs regarding sovereign debt negotiations (and on temporary easing of U.S. double-dip recession fears), the financial and political European press were warning of a coming financial crisis of unmatched dimensions.
William F. Buckley, Jr., founding father of the modern conservative movement, famously asserted his doctrine of voting for the most conservative candidate who is electable. Let me presume to add an analytic codicil: The GOP and the conservative movement have tended to support the most conservative policies only when they are understood to be conservative and are plausibly supportable by the conservative half of the electorate.
President Obama, like most American presidents, is lucky that the public pays little attention to foreign policy and rarely casts its votes on the basis of presidential foreign-policy performance. It required something as dramatic as the November 1979 Iranian seizing of our diplomats as hostages, followed the next month by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to turn Jimmy Carter's foreign policy mess into a major negative issue for him in his failed 1980 re-election bid.
In one of the least needed reassurances in modern political history, President Obama's top political man David Plouffe, "told Democrats late last week that the White House would not suffer from overconfidence. 'What I don't want to suggest is that we're sitting around and thinking everything is great,' he said."
Since the end of World War II, in both the United States and Western Europe, the best way to win a national election has been to be the incumbent political party. But that 3-generation-old predisposition of publics in Western democracies may be coming to an end.
In the last few weeks, leading Democrats in Congress have called Tea Party constituents terrorists, said they should go to hell and accused them of wanting to lynch black people.
President Obama's post-Labor Day "jobs" speech will be his last chance to launch an economic policy with any chance of manifesting its effect -- both economic and political -- before the November 2012 elections.
In the weeks during and since the debt-ceiling debate, the media, pushed by the Democratic Party, has peddled the propaganda that our government is broken -- because the Republicans in the House of Representatives negotiated a better deal than the liberals wanted.
Except according to the Lord's plans -- which are not known to man -- the "end of the world" is not nigh, although to listen to politicians and pundits, we should be packed and ready to go by next Thursday.
The debt deal, if it sticks, is a triumph for the bipartisan, status quo-clinging Washington establishment. Here is a prediction: Between now and January 2013, total actual spending cuts will be minimal.
How have we arrived at this place where the fate of our federal budget -- our economy, indeed our capacity to have a functioning federal government -- seems to depend on what two men (the speaker of the House and the president) may or may not be secretly talking about in an interior room in the White House?