Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Parting Glass

In one of those other lives I would have loved to lead if I hadn't stumbled into this one, I would have been involved in politics somehow. Probably as a reporter. My idols are Molly Ivins, Cokie Roberts, Mark Shields, Al Hunt, Bob Schieffer, James Carville, Paul Begala, and George Stephanopolous. And of course, Tim Russert.

His death saddens me more than I could have imagined the death of someone I didn't know personally could. I literally sat at a traffic light and bawled when I heard on Friday evening that he had died.

Tim Russert took over Meet the Press in 1991, just when I was becoming immersed in politics as an adult. I have always been a news and politics junkie. I remember watching the evening news as a very small child and asking my grandmother questions and listening as the adults around me talked politics. It sure seemed to happen a lot more back then than it does in my life now.

My whole life, politics has mattered to me, but it was when I graduated from college and saw how politics was not just some idealistic belief system that affected other people, but rather, was something that had a direct impact on my life that I really became impassioned.

Russert was there. One of the first pundits I looked to to learn from and hear discussions that didn't dance around a matter, but delved deeply into the essence of whatever the discussion was, whether it was universal health care or war in the Middle East or simply being a decent human being.

I think Tim Russert was probably one of those people who really is just too good for this world. By all accounts he was exactly the kind of guy you would want as your son, your father, your husband, or your pal.

I feel awful for his wife, his son, and of course, his dad. I can't imagine what life would be like after losing someone who clearly had such a big and impactful personality. It's a space that can't be filled.

I think the world is a little less nice knowing that such a good-hearted, joyful, passionate person no longer resides here. But I bet Heaven just got a little smarter.

6 comments:

Kel said...

Yes, it is always sad to lose someone who contributed so much to society.

~K

Courtney said...

Fantastic post, D. Beautiful words.

I, too, didn't realize how much I liked him until I heard he died. And it's heartening to me to hear that so many of us liked him so much and are feeling the loss.

Suz said...

Same here. Watching Meet the Press every Sunday while reading the New York Times is a tradition going back to law school for me. It is my favorite TV show, bar none.

I can hardly believe it, and bawled my eyes out watching the tribute during the regular show time yesterday.

Mimi said...

Great post. I have a lot of respect for Russert -- and for you as well, in this commitment to the political process and political life. That's an increasingly rare commodity, and your commitment requires ... commitment. I'm impressed.

merlotmom said...

I can't bring myself to delete his last Meet The Press. I've got it on tivo. So sad.

rennratt said...

I always admired his ability to call "BS!" in an honest, no-frills way.

He was a true class act.