Chuck Todd Recounts the Time He Got a Cold Call From Tim Russert

"I took the risk."

Toward the end of Chuck Todd‘s list of mentors in the Observer’s Mentors Issue is a story about how the Meet the Press host first arrived at NBC. It was, as Todd describes it, the result of a cold call from one of his MTP predecessors, the legendary and departed Tim Russert. He was offering Todd a spot at NBC.

At that point, Todd was comfortably ensconced at National Journal and The Atlantic. The thing was, writes Todd, “Tim was someone I idolized from afar and as a friend once said to me, when looking back on life near the end, you usually think about what you didn’t do, not what you did. So I took the risk of working for Tim.”

We probably all have stories about being disappointed when we finally get to meet the real person behind a public face, but this isn’t one of those stories. The payoff was better than good:

[Russert] reciprocated in ways I never expected. He was a role model, not just as a journalist, but as a leader and father. I find myself thinking about how Tim would handle a difficult situation and take my cue.

Read the whole piece here.