Incredibly sad news to pass along this afternoon. Our good friend and frequent co-host Dean Barnett has passed away from complications related to Cystic Fibrosis. Dean’s boss and friend Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard broke the news,

It’s my sad duty to report that our good friend and valued contributor Dean Barnett passed away today. He was a remarkable man–principled, witty, and to all of us, a model of grace and courage. We mourn his passing and cherish his memory.

Dean joined us in-studio on many occassions, most recently on September 21, and each time we did nothing but laugh and have a great time. In addition to being an amazing political analyst and writer, Dean was a warm, charming and wonderful human being.

My thoughts and prayers are with Dean’s wife and family at this incredibly difficult time.

UPDATE: Hot Air remembers Dean here and links to an essay he wrote about his battle with CF,

At one point during my interview, the questioner asked me if I expected to see a cure to CF in my lifetime. I answered no, but that it doesn’t really matter. When you see death up close, a couple of things become clear. One is that we all die, and that death is just part of the deal. The other is that life is such a blessing, that’s it just so great, even though you know the inevitable might be near you still want as many bites of the apple as possible.

UPDATE II: Here are some of Dean’s most recent visits with us in studio. The one constant, no matter the topic, laughter. What a loss.

September 21, 2008, on the Wall Street implosion

September 8, 2008, on Palin Derangement Syndrome

September 8, 2008, on his beloved Red Sox Nation making a family’s dream come true. This is classic Dean!

UPDATE III: Weekly Standard: From the pen of Dean Barnett