"If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press." We watch every week, and the best part isn't the main interview Tim Russert conducts for the bulk of the show; it's the political roundtable that follows, when Tim leads his fellow journalists and politicos in a discussion of the week's news. His love of politics, his passion for the process, and his rousing collegiality are in full force. Tim Russert was so obviously having such a great time during those segments, sharing anecdotes and poll data, making quips and digging deep into hypotheticals and possible outcomes. As a viewer, you felt lucky to watch this kind of ef exchange, like you had wandered into an old boys' club that was otherwise off limits.
His love for the game was infectious. His bonhomie and good cheer were endearing. He was someone I wanted to talk to, a voice I always strived to hear to clarify the news of the day. He was always direct and sounded just so damn happy to do what he was doing. It seemed like his professional and personal dreams had been fulfilled in such a wonderful way, to create a special kind of telegenic and Buffalo-bred happiness that you can't find anywhere else.
I saw him at church once in Washington, years ago. He was in the row behind me; ever the gawky teenager, I craned my neck around to look at him. He met my eyes, nodded his head briefly, and returned to his prayer. I have loved seeing him on MTP and on NBC's election coverage for years now; I'm thankful he was able to experience the surreal highs of this campaign season, as well as guide us through its unexpected turns. I feel horrible for his family and colleagues; he was too young, too energetic to simply disappear like this. His death has been unexpectedly difficult to bear.
Tim Russert: Thank you. You will be missed. Go Bills.