Sunday, June 15th, 2008
NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert’s death has touched us deeply. Some members of our team were lucky to meet Russert in person this January in Iowa, a day before the historic Iowa caucuses.
Thomas Macker, Thomas Rossmeissl, Barnett Zitron and I were at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Monies where most news organizations were filing and broadcasting from in advance of the first presidential contest in the United States.
In the late afternoon, as we stood in the hallway of the giant complex, Russert walked by with a small NBC entourage.
“Mr. Russert!” I called out.
He stopped, for a moment, and I asked if he would be willing to do an interview with us about voter participation in America.
“Gotta do Nightly News,” he said, as he picked up his pace and headed into the main hall from where Brian Williams was broadcasting that night. He then turned and shouted: “But maybe on the way back!”
Sure enough, Russert came back talked with us after he finished Nightly News. He shared insights on everything from his feelings about the state of the voting system to his famous line, “Florida! Florida! Florida!”
This Father’s Day, team Why Tuesday? honors a man whose gregariousness and graciousness we experienced firsthand. He is someone we will always to look up to, someone whose standards we will aim to meet, and whose style we will aim to emulate.