Monday, September 08, 2014

Two of my favorite things

 ... Meet the Press and Chuck Todd, have come together. I am happy.

I began obsessively watching Meet the Press in 1991, when Tim Russert took over and when I started working on Bill Clinton's Presidential campaign. I loved Tim Russert. I loved how he loved his son (Luke) and his dad (Big Russ) and his team (the Bills). I loved how he loved politics and getting to the truth of it all. His interview style was predictable but very effective -- whatever side his guest was on, Tim Russert was always devil's advocate. He was always respectful but never deferential.

I had a long, memorable chat with him at a book signing in 1997.* I have sat through his video presentation of the 1860 election at the Lincoln Museum many times and am always happy to see his face.

I felt terrible when he died in 2008, and am glad to see what a fine job Luke Russert covering the Hill for MSNBC. "Your boy's doing just fine," I silently say to the heavens.

I have loved Chuck Todd (or Chucky T, as I think of him) ever since I first saw The Daily Rundown in 2010. As I always love a man who is both smarter and geekier than I am. He brings a delightfully skewed creativity to covering politics, like reporting on The White House Soup of the
Day and using March Madness brackets to let viewers choose the greatest Senator ever.

Chuck Todd took over Meet the Press Sunday, and now all is right with my world. I think he did a fine job, infusing it with much needed energy. I haven't read the reviews yet, but I think Chucky T did just fine.

*We discussed The Dark Side of Camelot by Seymour Hersh. Mr. Russert wouldn't have the author on MTP because the book had too many "unnamed sources" and because Hersh was concentrating on the sensational aspects on every other talk show. Tim Russert didn't want to "go there." I admired him for that.