The sudden death of Tim Russert took me and the nation by surprise on Friday.
I'm not sure when I started watching Meet the Press. Probably when David Brinkley retired.
Like many Progressives, I had a love hate relationship with Russert. At times I found him a little over the top BUT I rarely missed his show. You could just feel with the change of inflection in his voice when an interviewee's words were going to be shoved up their backside. A visit to Meet the Press could launch or derail a political career.
This election cycle, I waited for Russert to jump in the fray on Primary nights. When Russert declared Obama the presumptive nominee on May 6, it stunned everyone. It was picked up in every media outlet.
I was exhausted watching these races. Just imagine the energy required to cover them. What was evident was the joy Russert had for his passion. To call it work would be simply wrong. Also, obvious to the viewer was his love for his family, God and God bless him (or God help him) his beloved Bills. Russert lived his 58 years with joy. How many people wallow in anger, rejects, and bitterness?
Maybe it was that energy which helped him connect with his viewers.
We are promised a lifetime. We rarely know when our clock will run out. Russert was carried out on his shield. His peers are working through their grief on MSNBC.
Whether he made you crazy or were a fan, his absence will be felt this historic election cycle.
As his family works through their grief, one thing for sure on this Father's Day, there will be an empty chair at the table.
Peace be with his family.