Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert - 1950 -2008

In memory of Tim Russert, I thought it worth re-posting the Rover blogpost reporting his recent Red Smith Lecture at Notre Dame, during which he graciously praised William F. Buckley. "Men of that caliber [of Buckley and Moynihan] are so lacking in our public discourse," Russert said.

Here is his ND talk:
Russert's comments and salute at the end of the clip display the nobility of his character.

Among the many tributes that have been issued today, is this one from Cokie Roberts:

"Tim Russert was a great competitor and a good friend. I am obviously shocked and dismayed by this news and extend my thoughts and prayers to his son Luke — he was so proud of you — to his wife Maureen and to the rest of his family; especially his beloved father. Tim and I worked together on Catholic causes, and I will greatly miss him."

Here's the original post:
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From Bob Costa via Phi Beta Cons at NRO:
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Tim Russert, Washington bureau chief of NBC News and moderator of Meet the Press, described the late William F. Buckley Jr. as an “extraordinary, complicated, intelligent, singular force in American life” on Monday in a lecture at the University of Notre Dame honoring late New York Times reporter Walter W. “Red” Smith. Russert added “I think that when we find that, we should salute it.”

Russert shared personal anecdotes of Buckley during the audience’s question period following his address on American journalism in front of over 500 students and faculty members.

"It was extraordinary talking to him," said Russert, recalling that he sat near Buckley at past social functions, including the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York.

At the dinner table, Buckley “was someone who did not engage in long conversation,” said Russert, before noting that the late National Review editor “was the quintessential observer” who could “come back and just say something that was so spot on.”

Russert also addressed what he sees as a common simplification of Buckley’s work and thought.

"I realized the suggestion that, well, he was a conservative writer," intoned Russert, "he was far more than that."

"He was someone who was a conservative and proud of it,” said Russert, “who understood the rhythms and changes in history — that there was a race worth running in 1964 with Barry Goldwater that would probably be unsuccessful but it would lay the groundwork for a successive conservative takeover of the Republican Party, and the White House, to wit Ronald Reagan — and he was right."
Read the rest.

I was at the event last night -- very well attended with a lot of older folks who I'm guessing were from town. There were lots of students there that I recognized, however, and I was surprised to see so many groups represented. Russert, who gave the keynote at Commencement 2002, seems to genuinely enjoy being at Notre Dame, even though (as he mentioned) his son is attending Boston College.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He seemed like a really genuine person. It's sad to hear of his passing.