I had to rush home early from work today to run an errand. While sitting in traffic on my drive home a little after 4PM I pulled up politico.com on my PDA. There I saw the shocking news that Tim Russert, moderator of Meet The Press, had passed away from an apparent heart attack. That news knocked the wind out of me.
I have been watching MSNBC on and off all evening. Sometimes I have had my TV on mute when it got tough to take. I saw the video of Chuck Todd talking about Tim Russert while choking back tears. He reminded me this Sunday is Father’s Day. I walked downstairs and saw that my daughter was busy making my Father’s Day present with paper, scissors and glue.
I don’t know Tim Russert. I have never met him. Yet he feels like family today. He feels like family today because for the last seventeen years, nearly every Sunday, I have invited him into my home and listened to him discuss politics. I have sometimes agreed with him; I have sometimes screamed at him; but I have always let him back into my home the following week. He was there – almost without fail – marking the passage of time and the political events that have shaped our world. He was there, almost like clockwork. If it was Sunday, it was Meet The Press.
Not this Sunday. Suddenly, abruptly, unexpectedly, the man who was there for us last weekend will not be there this Father’s Day.
I will miss his white board. Gore v. Bush is forever etched in my mind in numbers on Russert’s white board. Florida. Florida. Florida.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Russert’s family, his friends and his colleagues.