I'll miss this guy. He was sometimes full of horseshit, but when others claimed he was full of horseshit often they were proven to be wrong. So allowance must be given.
He tended to bring out the worst in people who weren't confident in themselves. Interviewers/journalists suffering from what Harold Bloom would call the anxiety of influence got con-testy with Vidal, which he would detect and throw back. The best interviewers were fine in their own skin and ended up in decent conversations or giving him good setups for his lapidary phrases and tales.
He loved his country, his republic, with a deep love that meant always wanting better, and wanting to ward off its perceived decline by calling out when it had more pomp than substance. No, that's way too buttery. He saw our country as a Miss Havisham, and described her past charms and decay in great and savage detail. If he had a magic wand to restore her vitality he would, but he knew woefully no such wand was available.
Feeling sore about both Vidal and Christopher Hitchens dying within a year of one another. I doubt I'll be as deeply eager what any other public figure, or eager to be suprised by what any other public figure thinks.
Chronically elegiac with a zest lit from a core of hope.