Jun 13, 2008
It’s a little after 4pm on a Friday, and although I have no boss and can leave the office whenever the heck I want, I’m still here, working, and preparing to have a beer or two on a balcony in our building, which happens to be 2 blocks from the beach here in Ventnor, NJ.
I’m feeling good 20 minutes ago, but then I got some horrible news. One of my all-time favorite human beings, Tim Russert, has died. I’m pretty shaken up by this because this country and our society will never be the same. I wrote once that I didn’t even know for sure what political party Russert belonged to – and that was why I loved the guy so much. Maybe he leaned to the left because of his blue-collar background, I’m not sure, but I found him to be the last of a dying breed, a throwback, and a legitimately objective political reporter. I see no reason to watch any political commentary on TV now, at least not right this very moment. And I think we’ll be hard-pressed, in this day and age, to ever again come across such an extraordinary political pundit. He was the best, and by an incredibly large margin.
I also found him to be an incredible person, and I’ve read parts of both of his books about his father and fathers in general, Big Russ and Me and The Wisdom of our Fathers, trying to mine some pearls of wisdom for raising my own four kids, and I definitely did. That he died so close to Father’s Day is one of the saddest ironies I can recall.
An avid sports and Buffalo Bill fan, Russert was the truest of true patriots, an American in literally every single sense of the word. He was a model husband, father, journalist, broadcaster, and person. I’ll never forget when I first really took a liking to Russet, back in 2000. It was football season, and I was up late working, of course. It was also election night, and there was a small controversy about Florida and who won the Presidential Election. Deep into the night, at late as 4am, Russert was brilliant in laying out the situation for all Americans to digest. He was a great interviewer not afraid to ask the tough questions, and he had a way about him that completely transcended party lines and ideologies. When you watched Russert at work, it was about America, not an elephant or a donkey.
Honestly, if I had to think of one celebrity when I woke up this morning that I would NOT want to see pass away today, Tim Russert might have been my choice.
We lost a true gem today, my friends.