For years, I worked with Mark Haines on "Squawk Box," usually Friday mornings as a guest or guest host. We go back a long way. He called me "Lawrence of America." The nickname stuck. I loved it.
Like everyone I was stunned to hear the unspeakably bad news Wednesday morning. Nick Dunn called me. I was in a Washington, D.C., hotel room. A lonely place to get some very bad news.
Mark’s untimely passing hits me close. We are about the same age and of course it gets you to thinking. We had a long history. On "Squawk" and elsewhere we talked and talked, argued, debated, agreed and disagreed. I preferred it when we agreed, mostly because he was such a formidable opponent when we were on opposite sides.
Mark had a very keen intellect. He had that penetrating lawyer-like skill of cutting right to the chase in dissecting an argument. But you know what?
Down though the years I loved it and I loved him.
As a novice learning to become a broadcaster I studied Mark’s formidable skills — his insightful and penetrating questions — his ability to hone in and really nail someone. He taught me a lot, and I am still learning.
A bunch of months ago he came by my desk in the newsroom one afternoon to chat. I hadn’t seen him in a while. It must have been around Christmas actually because we were talking about the Washington debate over extending tax cuts and stopping a humongously unnecessary spending bill.
He said “Kudlow, what do you think here?” I said “Mark, buddy, kill the spending, keep the tax cuts.”
And he broke out laughing and said “You know what, I agree with you!” I said “Oh my gosh.” It was a classic Mark Haines moment.
During "Squawk Box" breaks we’d go off the set to talk about sports, politics, that morning’s show. I learned he was a great family man because that’s what he talked about constantly. I think Mark Haines had great values. And I think down through all those years he taught me an awful lot about stuff, all kinds of good stuff.
As I flew home yesterday from Washington back to New York, I thought non-stop about my pal, Mark Haines and all the episodes and conversations and our ups and downs as two opinionated guys.
I want to get this blog out because emotionally I need to get it out and say what I’m saying. I don’t think it’s really adequate, but it is what’s rattling around in my head.
Like I said, he was a remarkable man. He passed way too soon. Already I miss him enormously. To his family, my sincerest condolences and my prayers. To Mark, may you rest in peace.
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