I was away when Tim Russert died. My mom originally wrote this information in an email, but my father made her delete it, for fear of upsetting me.
My parents and I loved Tim Russert. I loved his exuberance, the jolly earnestness he had when discussing anything remotely related to politics. He could hardly contain himself when discussing the election, and his eagerness was a joy to watch.
"Oh, look at him!" we would say. "Look how excited he is!"
His passion for politics was infectious. After hearing about the Pennsylvania primaries, I felt the need to get my hands on anything remotely related to the facts, then go out and do something, be part of the process. I was always happy when I saw him on the newscast, knowing that I was recieving the best quality information from a guy who truly cared.
I'm still reading about his death, and of course, am sad that I missed all the media coverage that has been criticized for overblowing his death. I'd rather see that than any of the firestorms that circulated among lesser individuals--and I'm not even talking about people who achieved only a fraction of what Tim Russert did in his life.
On the plane back I read the New York Times Magazine cover story on Chris Matthews. I had been saving it for a while--though God only knows why--since it wasn't particularly good and Chris Matthews is a blowhard. Apparently the two didn't like each other, and I can certainly see why Russert would not care for Matthews. When you're better known as your impersonation on Saturday Night Live, you know you're in trouble.
One of the saddest things to me is that Tim Russert did not live to see how the 2008 election finished. But then I know he would just be hungry for more, to see what would happen under this new president. I'll miss his twinkling smile, his passion, and how he made me care about whatever he was talking about. And I'm very sorry that I never watched Meet the Press.