Saturday, June 14, 2008
Tim Russert 1950-2008
Tim Russert and his son, Luke, pictured in 1998. His son just graduated from Boston College.
I logged on-line around 4:00pm, before heading to a concert in the park with my family, to check email and learned that Tim Russert died of a heart attack. Man. For some reason, it really hits me hard. So sad. He was a tough political voice - speaking to all kinds of people in that relm. He appeared so tough and driven. I always wanted to loosten his tie just a little bit. :-) But, you could see through all that to his true self. A loving father, son, and human. His books prove that. His interviews prove that. Here is an excerpt from USA Weekend, in November of 1998:
"Thoughts on Strong Families
'As families nationwide celebrate Thanksgiving, a remarkable group of people - from newsman Tim Russert to Swing editor (and Ralph's son) David Lauren to gay rights activist (and Ellen's mom) Betty DeGeneres - tell what keeps their family spirit alive.
Tim Russert, Age: 48. Washington bureau chief, NBC News; moderator, Meet the Press; husband of journalist Maureen Orth, father of 13-year-old Luke:
'You've got to be there.'
I've talked to so many people in TV as they're about to retire who say, 'My biggest regret is that I was on the road all the time,' or 'I was working so much I didn't spend enough time with my kids.' From the day I began at NBC, I was determined never to utter those words. I have flown home from China, literally, to make my son's Little League game. I was probably sleeping by the third inning, but I was there. You've got to be there.
'This notion of 'quality time' - that's not what kids want. They don't just want a boutique hour set aside for them; they need you there all the time. If you're there physically as much as you can be, you'll always be there emotionally. And the few times you have to be away, the emotional ties will be so strong from the times you were there, it will more than hold you together. My family is the most important thing.
'In the end, whether you're the moderator of Meet the Press or a fireman or a baseball player, you're going to be judged not on your ability to do your job but on how you took care of your kids.' "
End of quote.
In tribute, time for a read (or reread) of "Big Russ & Me" or "Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons."
May his family feel peace.
Here is to you, Mr. Russert.