Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert 1950-2008

Tim Russert:

Ever since I was a little boy I was drawn to politics, drawn to history…

Howard Fineman on Tim Russert:

"The fact they were in Italy reminds me of something I wanted to mention. I’m not Catholic, I’m Jewish, but I’ll tell you, If I ever thought about being Catholic, Tim would be the best advertisement for that faith that there is. I happened to attend, almost sneak in I would say, but attend (a real fish out of water)...the Al Smith Dinner in New York which is the big dinner of all the Irish-Catholic pols in New York, which used to be (and to some extent still is)synonymous with all the politicians in New York. And their all there in white tie and Tim was in his element. And he took a double take when he saw me there because I was just trying to cover a political story. I was not properly dressed of course [but] nobody could be more embracing and welcoming than Tim. He said, 'you know we might try to bring you over Fineman, we might try to reel you in.' And you know what, he would have been a great fisherman for his faith to use the analogy on purpose. Obviously his faith animated him... in whatever way he expressed it he was a very deeply devout Catholic. I think the structure of the church meant a tremendous amount to Tim. Tim was a guy of structure. Loved his family, loved the bureau, loved the camaraderie of NBC, loved journalism and being part of the tribe of journalism. But I think the faith that he must have learned up in Buffalo from his parents that he grew up in, in that Catholic community in Buffalo meant everything to him and helped guide and focus him and keep him grounded in this city where way too many people pursue false gods. And Tim was the kind of guy who never pursued false Gods. He pursued the real one."