In Memoriam: Tim Russert (Day 2)


Constantly updating below…

>The Newseum, which Russert helped make a reality, pays tribute

>Doctors confirm that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Our full coverage after the jump…

>How the papers covered it…(all front page)

Washington Post:


New York Times:


Washington Examiner:


NY Post:


Washington Times:




New York Daily News:


>The Buffalo News remembers a “favorite son.”

>David Broder looks at the “many gifts of Tim Russert.” Todd Gitlin talks of a “loss in the family.” Tom Shales on a “smile that lit up journalism.” Dan Balz: “On Tim Russert.”

>’s online discussion boards feature emotional notes of support to Tim’s son, Luke.

>Woodward on “Today”: There was always a bit of Columbo in him.

>MSNBC shows an old tape of “Meet” EP Betsy Fischer: He’s just a guy you want to have a beer and watch football. … And yet he’s brilliant at the same time.

>Brian Stelter on Russert’s turnaround of “Meet.” Sewell Chan on Russert and NY Politics.

>From a tipster:

    Tim Russert: a class act, a huge sports fan, a journalist whose habits are worth emulating by anyone who conducts interviews for a living — that would be all of us. RIP.

>Last night’s Nightly News opened with the theme song to “Meet the Press.”

>Via Playbook:

    Jay Leno recalled last night than he made so many jokes about the “Florida, Florida, Florida” dry-erase board that “one Christmas, he came on, and he presented me with this, which hangs in my office” — a board saying, “Jay! Jay! Jay!”

>Brokaw: Do me a favor and say a prayer for ‘ol Timmy.

>President Bush, in Paris: “America lost a really fine citizen yesterday when Tim Russert passed away. … I foudn him to be a hard working thorough, decent man.”

>Politico: “Prepping for Russert.” “Memorable Tim Russert moments.”

>The Today show focuses on Russert this morning. A special Saturday edition of “Morning Joe” does the same on MSNBC.

>Obama on “Today”: We prepared a lot more for Meet the Press.

>Washington City Paper: “If a recreational trail is ever built in Klingle Valley, it might be appropriate to name it in the memory of Tim Russert.”

>Politicker has a cartoon:


>David Gregory to Mika and Scarborough: “Tim so enjoyed the show that you two have created.”

>Slate’s John Dickerson tells FishbowlDC: “He was a great interviewer and he knew the right questions to ask. The thing that always struck me though was that at the top of his game I saw him do two things people at the top of their game don’t often do: he was generous and kind to people of no stature or note and he went out of his way to credit the work of journalists who had reported something first or who had come up with an idea first.”

>NBC’s Ron Allen tells FishbowlDC: ” First and foremost my wife Adaora and I want to express our deepest heartfelt sympathy to Tim’s family. It’s especially tragic and unbelievable when anyone so young is taken from us without warning and so much too soon. Tim seemed to be in stride and in the prime of his life…at a time in our national life that was calling out for him. I last saw him in Washington about a week ago….to experience the honor of appearing on his program…..and as always he was so engaged, excited, and present while kicking around everything politics. Over the years, Tim was always supportive and thoughtful… the kind of guy you could always have a down to earth conversation with…no nonesense….just being real. He showed us all how to be prepared and to know what we’re talking about, how to be tough and always fair. He showed us all how the best at what we do spend their lives seeking the truth.”

>ABC’s Terry Moran tells FishbowlDC: “What Tim Russert did was put passion into political journalism at a time it was sorely needed. He loved the game, he loved the tactics and strategy–but he also loved the substance of our politics, the real debates over the real choices we face in coming to grips with our real problems. His enthusiasm for what matters in politics, which stemmed from his palpable love for our country, was a rare quality. And it remains an inspiration.”

>Some coverage plans, from the release:


    8 AM — 12 PM ET: Morning Joe — LIVE Remembering Tim Russert

    12 PM ET: Dateline — “Remembering Tim Russert”

    1-6 PM ET — MSNBC LIVE — Special Coverage — Remembering Tim Russert

    6 PM ET: Dateline — Remembering Tim Russert

>You’ll notice that Russert has been removed from MSNBC’s regular promos.


>My Examiner colleague Jeff Dufour writes an obit

>Statement from Bob Wright, former chairman and CEO of NBC Universal:

    I met Tim when I first came to NBC 22 years ago. He was a fireball of news energy. He loved life, his wife Maureen and his son Luke. There was no news assignment that he wasn’t part of. Our Washington Bureau was forever changed by his presence and management. Meet The Press was reborn with Tim and continues today as his signature program. Tim was a big part of the launch of MSNBC, the Today Show’s political coverage, Nightly News, and all of NBC’s political coverage. He was generous, thoughtful, inspired and a tireless journalist who will never be forgotten!

>Tom Brokaw:

    Tim was a man of many passions — his family most of all, his faith, his country, political journalism, baseball and the Buffalo Bills.

    As a working class Irish-American with a Jesuit education his range was wide and deep — from the sensibilities of blue-collar voters to the politics of the Vatican, from the power plays on Capitol Hill to the power plays on network television.

    Almost all of our conversations — and they went on every day — ended with some version of, “Can you believe how lucky we are to be doing this?”

>Brian Williams:

    Tim Russert is gone. He was a giant in our company, in our lives, and in the combined fields of journalism and politics. He was my friend for many years, and my on-air partner during the most exciting political year in generations. The members of Tim’s NBC News family are thinking only of the members of Tim’s own family in the wake of this staggering, overpowering and sudden loss.

    Tim was the most aggressively un-glamorous guy I ever knew. He retained the working class ethos of his upbringing, and earned every dime and every accolade through hard work. He enjoyed unfettered access to power — and used it to help others walk through the door alongside him. He always reminded us: “If its Sunday, its Meet the Press” — but what kept us coming back each Sunday — was our friend Tim.

>Terry McAuliffe on Larry King Live:

    I couldn’t believe it today. I had been on Tim’s show many, many times. And I was never on a panel. I was always the one he was asking the tough questions of. But, you know, he was always fair. He was a tough interview. When I went on his show, I knew I had to be prepared. I felt like I was cramming for exams again.

    At the end of the interview, you never felt that he took any cheap shots. He let you answer the questions. And Tim and I talked an awful lot. We talked about sports. He loved politics, both from upstate New York.

    I’m devastated by the news. No one will ever be able to replace Tim Russert. When I was chairman of the party, I would go on right before every election and Tim would say, all right, Terry, I’m going to take some bets with you. So I would always have to bet money. And he would always take the toughest races. And as chairman of the party, I could never say we were going to lose. Every year, I had to spend thousands of dollars giving to the Boys and Girls Club of Washington that Tim always supported.

    But I’m going miss him. We did a lot of battles together. But, more importantly, we were great friends. And I think I speak for a lot of people who sat in the hot seat for many years, you know what, you’d never give a day back. He was spectacular. KING: Wolf, we know how much you work. Do you take heed with what Ted Koppel said?

>Kimmy Kaplan, a former “Meet” intern, tells FishbowlDC:

    I’m not a politician. I’m not a network news anchor. I’m only a fresh faced recent graduate and an aspiring journalist who had the opportunity to intern at Meet the Press and for Tim Russert this past fall. So many internships are about the skills you obtain, but that internship was more about the intangible things I learned. Sitting in that studio and watching Tim in action each Sunday was memorizing, not only because of the careful, insightful and fair questions he asked the world’s greatest leaders and newsmakers, but because he was one of the hardest working news people in the business. So many people on air today are simply talent reciting the news that their production teams have worked so hard to report, but Tim was not only a member of his team, he was the captain. He worked side by side with his producers and researchers, while leading and inspiring everyone he came into contact with. He will be greatly missed by all of those people and by the audience with whom he connected on a weekly basis. I know that I will keep him and the way he did his job in the back of my mind everyday as I continue to work towards my goals and I hope that his presence will have had the same effect on all he came to contact with, whether it was through a personal relationship or through their television screens.

>Dick Cheney on “Today”:

    It’s a great tragedy. I was stunned yesterday to learn of Tim’s passing. … It’ a tremendous loss. … He was never into gotcha journalism, he’d ask you tough questions, remind you of quotes you had made in previous settings…so you never got away with anything. … It wasn’t just politics, it was substance. … we certainly want to extend our prayers to Tim’s family. He was a remarkable individual. We are all better for having known him.

>Obama on NBC: He was a great example of a good guy.

>Recollections: Howard Fineman, Joe Klein, NYDaily News, Bill Kristol

>Chris Matthews remembers:

>”Tribute to a Buffalo boy who made it”:

>Big Russ & Me:

>The Life of Tim Russert:

>Charlie Rose remembers:

>John Edwards remembers:

>Colin Powell remembers:

>Chuck Todd remembers:

>Al Hunt:

>Ethel Kennedy:

>A giant in journalism:

>Florida! Florida! Florida!

>All the Tim Russert news you could ever want

>Tim’s books are #1 and #2 on


>You can email memories to

>Mark Leibovich: “Tiny Town: Washington After a Fall.”

>Richard Stengel: “How Russert Became Russert

>Slate remembers.

>Byron York says goodbye.

>So does David Remnick.

>And David Shuster:

>And Matt Lauer:

>Dick Cheney:

>NBC’s “Dream Team” (Andrea Mitchell, Lisa Myers, Pete Williams, David Gregory, Jim Miklaszewski)…


…pays tribute:

>Buffalo News front cover:


>CBN’s David Brody remembers

>Revised lineup for Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN:

    RELIABLE SOURCES — Airs LIVE 10:00AM-11:00AM (ET)
    Topic: A Tribute to NBC’s Tim Russert
    Guest: Wolf Blitzer, CNN anchor
    Guest: David Bohrman, CNN senior vice president and Washington bureau chief
    Guest: Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent, PBS; former CNN anchor
    Guest: Sally Quinn, The Washington Post

>A reader sends in his own tribute, using Russert’s bobblehead doll:


>Congressional Black Caucus:

    ‘The untimely death of NBC Washington Bureau Chief and moderator of Meet the Press, Tim Russert has astonished the journalism community and the world,’ said Congresswoman Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (MI-13), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Undoubtedly, Mr. Russert has left an indelible mark on the world. His work reflects journalism at its finest. Mr. Russert was celebrated for his masterful astuteness to detail and flawless sense of integrity. From his tenure in Capitol Hill press galleries to political gatekeeper at NBC, Tim Russert skillfully probed for news angles that would inform and educate consumers of news, while challenging his colleagues to regard their sacred profession with the utmost respect and accuracy. He will be sorely missed.’

    Our sincerest condolences are extended to the Russert family and his gallery of friends, colleagues and viewers.’

>Washingtonian remembers

>Tons of highlights from Saturday’s “Today” show…

    Interview: Senator John McCain remembers Tim Russert MATT LAUER, host:

    And Mike mentioned a second ago, we were all up in New Hampshire for an event with John McCain. And to understand the impact Tim Russert had on this country, you need only look at interviews he conducted with people who aspire to lead it. When it came to the political interview, no one did it better.
    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain knows what it was like to go toe-to-toe with Tim Russert.

    Senator McCain, good morning to you.

    Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican 2008 Presidential Candidate): Good morning.

    LAUER: You were on “Meet the Press.” I looked down at this number, I had to look three times: 52 times.

    Sen. McCAIN: And it never got easier.

    LAUER: What was it like to sit across from Tim, Senator?

    Sen. McCAIN: He was always fair. He was always tough. He always would send a little trepidation through me when I would see a quote thrown up on the screen, but–because he always did his homework. But he was a fair. He, I believe, played a key role in informing the American people, not only about those of us who run for public office, but those who are in office and those who hold positions of responsibility throughout this country. There was nobody better, and, you know, the–it was interesting, because I believe that Tim and I were friends, and we would have the most friendly conversations right until that red light went on. And then it was as tough as any interviews that I have ever done, but they were always extremely fair as well.

    LAUER: What…

    Sen. McCAIN: And so I cherish those memories of knowing him because I think he contributed in an enormous and unusual way to the political process which helps us govern this country better.

    LAUER: I love what you said a second ago, when he’d say, and he’d put a quote up on the screen. How many times did he look across at a politician and say, `Let me put something up on the screen, and I’ll get your reaction on the other side’? And most of the time the politicians eyes widened because they never knew what they were going to see. You know…

    Sen. McCAIN: The first thought is–first thought would usually be, `Did I really say that?’

    LAUER: Yeah, exactly. Where–and `Where’d you find that?’ But boy, did he do his homework. And, Senator, I’m looking at you, and we’re going to talk to Senator Obama in just a second. And you know what?

    Sen. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

    LAUER: I–you have to know, he is pounding his fists somewhere right now because he was so electrified by this campaign through the primary process and what he saw shaping up for the fall. And you know that he is just so upset he’s not going to be there to see it carried out.

    Sen. McCAIN: I think he’ll be watching us, and my love to Maureen and especially to young Luke, one of the great, great young men I’ve had the privilege of knowing. Like grandfather, like son, like grandson.

    LAUER: Senator John McCain. Senator, again, thanks for sharing your time and your thoughts with us this morning. I really appreciate t.

    Sen. McCAIN: Thank you. We’ll miss him.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Interview: Senator Barack Obama remembers Tim Russert MATT LAUER, host:

    Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president is also a veteran of the Russert interview.

    Senator, good morning to you.

    Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democratic 2008 Presidential Candidate): Good morning, Matt.

    LAUER: Was it a make or break occasion when you’d show up for “Meet the Press”?

    Sen. OBAMA: Well, let me put it this way. We prepared a lot more for “Meet the Press.” You know, we made sure that we had–we had covered our bases before I went on that show. I remember the first time I interviewed him was during the 2004 convention, which was one of my first times appearing in the national press, and somewhere in the middle of the interview, he suddenly pulls out a quote from a Cleveland Plain Dealer article that I had completely forgotten about, an interview I had done maybe four, five, seven years earlier, and it talked about how I had complained about all the big money access at these Democratic conventions, except of course now I was the keynote speaker. And it showed me he had the best research on television, but we also talked football afterwards. He was just a terrific interview.

    LAUER: You know, it occurs to me, Senator, that you’ve done so many interviews, not only with Tim, but with so many other reporters along the campaign trail, and I wonder if you even know, at least here at NBC, how many of the times that I asked you a question or someone else here at NBC asked you a question, that it was actually suggested by Tim Russert. We turned to him as a resource time and time again.

    Sen. OBAMA: Mm-hmm. Well, I don’t know if you remember, Matt, one of the last times you and I did an interview, I called you Tim.

    LAUER: Yeah.

    Sen. OBAMA: Because I was still traumatized from doing the–doing “Meet the Press” that weekend. I was still thinking about him. But you know, he loved politics. He loved the give and take. But I think, as was already noted by Mr. Barnicle, he was never mean-spirited about it. You know, he would hold you accountable, but you always had a sense that he was fair, that he wasn’t trying to make himself more important in the process. He was just trying to get information for the American people.

    LAUER: That is such an important distinction to make because there is such a thing as a tough question and there is such a thing as a gotcha question, and Tim…

    Sen. OBAMA: Right.

    LAUER: …knew the line between the two.

    Sen. OBAMA: He really did. And as a consequence, you know, even though sometimes he would pin you down and you’d have some tough times on the show, you always came away from there feeling like, `This is a stand-up guy.’ And everybody I talked to who knew Tim, I think, understood that he had inherited those values from Big Russ, he was passing them on to Luke. He was an example of a good man. And if you read every obituary, what you–what you read about is not just that passion and joy of life and politics, but also a core decency to the guy that is something that is going to be sorely missed by everybody.

    LAUER: And maybe as we head into these next months of this presidential campaign, one of the things we should all pledge, from your point of view and our point of view, is that we’ll conduct ourselves the way Tim always did. We can be tough, but we have to be fair over the these next several months.

    Sen. OBAMA: I–listen, he–as I said yesterday, he set the standard not just for journalism, but I think he made the people he covered better as well. And so it’s a–it’s a huge void that is going to be very difficult to fill.

    LAUER: Senator Obama, it’s nice of you to share your time with us and your thoughts as well this morning. Thank you very much.

    Sen. OBAMA: Thank you so much.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Profile: Tim Russert’s colleagues remember him MATT LAUER, host:

    We’re back at 26 after the hour with Tom Brokaw. Mike Barnicle’s joining us as well, and Al Roker as well. I think, you know, one of the things we need to mention here, for all of his intellect and knowledge of politics and how seriously he took this, there was a real funny side to Tim.

    AL ROKER reporting:

    Oh, gosh.

    LAUER: He had an enormous sense of humor, a sarcastic sense of humor–he was the master of the understatement–and also a really great self-deprecating sense of humor.

    TOM BROKAW reporting:


    LAUER: I just want to show you something. I must have kidded him about this a thousand time.

    BROKAW: We all did.

    AL ROKER reporting:


    LAUER: Tim got an opportunity to throw out the first pitch.

    TIM RUSSERT reporting:

    (From file footage) You know where it’s going.

    LAUER: Oh, this is actually–Buffalo–actually, the Stanley Cup.

    BROKAW: We want to see Wrigley Field.

    LAUER: Right. What we want to see is–we want to see an occasion where Tim was asked to throw out the opening pitch at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs. He’s warming up there. He gets out there…

    ROKER: Oh!

    LAUER: …and what does he do?

    ROKER: Bounces it.

    LAUER: He bounces it. Now, if anybody who loves…

    BROKAW: Bounced about five times, by the way.

    LAUER: Anybody who loves sports as much as Tim…

    RUSSERT: (From file footage) I will not mention them on “Meet the Press” for one year, I promise.

    LAUER: That was not a great moment. And so what I did is, on the air I said, `Tim, you bounced it on the way to home plate,’ and in dry Tim Russert fashion, he says, `Matt, give me a break. I was trying to throw a slider.’

    BROKAW: Yeah.

    ROKER: Whenever I’d see him…

    LAUER: And he stuck to that.

    ROKER: He’d come into the makeup room, `What’s the weather going to be today?’ You know, he’s just great.

    BROKAW: Wow, this thing–you know, but–I–Tim was a big event guy.

    ROKER: Yeah.

    BROKAW: Mike and I have talked about this a lot. He just loved–if somebody said you could throw the first ball out at Wrigley Field, `Where do I suit up?’ I mean, because these are opportunities when you’re growing up in a working-class neighborhood in south Buffalo, you don’t ever expect to have them arrive, and you think at any moment people are going to tap you on the shoulder and say it’s time to go back.

    LAUER: Yeah.

    BROKAW: And so he wanted to take full advantage of all the opportunities. He loved taking Luke to the NBA all-star games, the baseball games.

    LAUER: Concerts, Springsteen concerts.

    BROKAW: Concerts, everything.

    ROKER: Oh, Springsteen.

    BROKAW: And when he–I would always tease him. “Meet the Press” was high church. You know, we only do the really serious political issues of the day until the NBA all-stars game came on.

    LAUER: Yeah. Something bizarre happened here, Mike. And I mean, his love of music. I mean, he was on here just about a week ago, and we were comparing iPod content. We liked the same kind of music. Springsteen was here on the TODAY show last year putting on a concert on the plaza.

    MIKE BARNICLE reporting:


    LAUER: And early in the morning, he was warming up with the E Street Band.
    Tim came especially to see it. And as Tim walked out the side door of the studio, Bruce was in the middle of a song, and he stopped and went, `Uncle Tim!’ And Tim beamed. He just couldn’t believe that “The Boss” was recognizing him in the middle of a warm-up song.

    BARNICLE: Oh, I mean, he was a huge Springsteen fan. He was also a huge Roy Orbison fan.

    LAUER: Right.

    BROKAW: Right.

    BARNICLE: And right before Roy Orbison passed away he had a concert, actually a club concert in Manhattan, and the four of us, Tim and Maureen, myself, my wife Ann, went to see Roy Orbison. He loved Roy Orbison. He loved music. He loved life. I was–as Tom was just talking to you, Matt, about all-star games, I can remember Tim, and if Jeff Immelt and Jack Welch are watching, he would sometimes…

    LAUER: Got to do it quick, Mike, we’re going to lose you, here. So go ahead.

    BARNICLE: Oh, I’ll save it, then.

    LAUER: All right, great. We’ll catch back with you in a second. Mike Barnicle and Tom Brokaw and Al Roker. We’re going to have much more ahead right after this.

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    Interview: CBS’ Bob Schieffer and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos remember Tim Russert MATT LAUER, co-host:

    And we are back now with a special edition of TODAY, remembering our friend Tim Russert. No one knows the impact Tim had on television and specifically on Sunday mornings better than his competitors. Bob Schieffer is moderator of “Face the Nation” on CBS and George Stephanopoulos anchors ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

    Guys, good morning. I’m really glad that you both joined me this morning.

    Mr. GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC’s “This Week”): Thank you, Matt. Sorry about your loss.

    Mr. BOB SCHIEFFER (CBS’s “Face the Nation”): Well, it’s…

    LAUER: Well, and yours, as well.

    Bob, go ahead.

    Mr. SCHIEFFER: I was just going to say it’s a pleasure to be here and to remember Tim. You know, Tim and I butted heads for 18 years, so every Sunday morning, week in, week out. Somehow or another we–you know, we became friends along the way. And this is more than the loss of a colleague to me.
    I feel like I’ve really lost a friend. He’s been a part of my life for so long, I–it’s going to be hard to think about it with him not being there. It still really hasn’t sunk in.

    LAUER: Bob, you talk about butting heads, and so much is written often about this television business and oftentimes it’s not all that flattering, that it’s overly competitive and maybe we don’t treat each other the way we should.
    But competing with a guy like Tim Russert makes you better, doesn’t it?

    Mr. SCHIEFFER: Well, it certainly made me better. I said last night I think probably “Face the Nation” was a better broadcast because I was competing against Tim. I mean, look, this guy was going full steam all the time. And when you got in the ring with him you better be ready because he wasn’t going to let up. But the other part of it was on those rare occasions when I’d kind of slip one by him, I felt like I’d really done something. And I will tell you something else, when he got one past me he was absolutely delighted. We had that kind of relationship.

    LAUER: George, take me back to how your relationship with Tim started?
    Obviously, as a–as a part of the Clinton campaign, you dealt with him from one angle, and now as a competitor of his you deal with him from a completely different angle.

    Mr. STEPHANOPOULOS: It actually started long before that, Matt. I was just thinking about this yesterday. I met Tim back in 1984 when I was a young congressional aide who was about to go off to graduate school. He had just started at NBC up in New York in his executive position, and through mutual friends I got an introduction. And even then you could tell this guy was bigger than life and destined for very, very big things. He was very generous with his advice to me. But then many years later when I did have to learn how to deal with Tim, both being interviewed by him, preparing politicians like President Clinton for his murder boards, I came to appreciates just how much he puts into this job, how much work he put into it, the kind of ethic he demonstrated, the kind of integrity he demonstrated with his research, with the way he held politicians accountable. And I think–you know, the passion he showed, I think, was rooted in his belief that this this all matters very, very much, that it’s not just a game, that by holding politicians accountable and letting viewers see that, he was making all of us better citizens.

    And the enthusiasm he showed was infectious. I have to agree with Bob. I was kind of the new kid on the block on the Sunday shows just about five years ago and my daughter Elliott was born at exactly the same time I was taking over the show. And just as I was coming in to work the morning after, my wife and I–Ali–got this beautiful little pillow from Tim with my daughter’s name, Elliott Anastasia Stephanopoulos…

    LAUER: Yeah.

    Mr. STEPHANOPOULOS: …September 9th, 2002 written on it. And Tim always went out of his way to have that human gesture, and of course the very next Sunday he went in and beat my brains out.

    LAUER: Yeah.

    Mr. STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s what he does.

    LAUER: Hey, Bob, I want to leave by asking you to try and do something. I mean, I’m determined that if something good can come out of this it’s that we can challenge the next generation of journalists and broadcasters to meet a certain standard. What should they learn, what should they take away from the career of Tim Russert?

    Mr. SCHIEFFER: Tim Russert went into every interview well prepared. He had done his research, he had done his homework. But the most important thing he did, Matt, when he asked a question, then he listened to what the person had to say and then he asked the follow-up that generally got the news.

    LAUER: Bob Schieffer joining us from Paris this morning, George Stephanopoulos from Washington. And I know you guys have shows to prepare for and I’m sure even as you go about your jobs tomorrow it just won’t be the same. And I thank you for your time this morning.

    Mr. SCHIEFFER: Thank you, Matt.

    LAUER: We’ll be right back.

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    Interview: Vice President Dick Cheney remembers Tim Russert MATT LAUER, co-host:

    Vice President Dick Cheney knew what it was like as well as anyone. It was his interview on “Meet The Press” on September 15th, 2001, in the wake ever the 9/11 attacks that started this national debate on what the country would do next.

    Mr. Vice President, good morning. I thank you for your time this morning.

    Vice President DICK CHENEY: Good morning, Matt.

    LAUER: Just your general thoughts. I mean, you knew this man as well as anyone. What are your thoughts this morning?

    Vice President CHENEY: Well, it’s a–it’s a great tragedy. I was stunned yesterday to learn of Tim’s passing. I remember many occasions when we did the show when he would ask me about my health, but he never commented on his own. I was unaware that he had coronary artery disease. We could have compared notes. But it’s a–it’s a tremendous loss.

    LAUER: You know, Bob Bennett, the Washington lawyer said something, I’m paraphrasing here, Mr. Vice President, but he said, `All the people in politics knew that if you went on “Meet The Press,” there was chance you would leave the show a little bloodier than when you arrived, but if you did go on anyway and you did well, boy, could you score points’. Is that the way you viewed it?

    Vice President CHENEY: I did. And a couple of other points I think need to be made, matt. One of the great things about “Meet The Press” and the way Tim ran it was that you got an hour sometimes, if you had a big subject like we did in September of ’01, where you could devote the whole hour to getting into a subject in-depth. And Tim was, he was never into “gotcha journalism.” He’d ask you tough questions. He’d remind you of quotes you’d made previously in other settings or on earlier shows, so you never got away with anything going up vis-a-vis Tim, but the main thing was it wasn’t just politics. It was substance. And the best way to discuss a complex subject under extraordinary circumstances, which was the situation we faced in September of 2001, just a few days after 9/11, was to go on “Meet The Press.”

    LAUER: Yeah, I remember that interview vividly. It was with the nation was reeling. I was glued to that. Anything stand out from that interview?

    Vice President CHENEY: It’s–I always, when I think of Tim and think of “Meet The Press,” that’s the show that always comes to mind because we did it up at Camp David. The president, national security team, were meeting all weekend up at Camp David planning our response to 9/11. And Tim came up there, and we did the show from a facility right next door. And it was a remarkable moment in American history. There was this tremendous sense, obviously, that something enormously significant had happened on 9/11, and, of course, we’d lost 3,000 Americans that morning to the worst terrorist attack in our history. And Tim captured on the show, in the way he handled it, captured the feeling and the emotion of the moment. But he also gave us a great opportunity to get into the substance and the kind of response that was being considered, analysis of who had done it. We went back and reminisced, to some extent, about what had actually happened the morning of 9/11. So it was–it was a remarkable moment in my career, but a lot of that was due to Tim and the way he handled show.

    LAUER: I know you both came from humble beginnings, and certainly you and Tim never forgot that. He never lost sight of that.

    Vice President CHENEY: That’s correct.

    LAUER: Vice President Dick Cheney, I think the roster of people we’ve had on our program this morning is a great indication of his importance and the fact he was so well loved and it’s a wonderful tribute. I again thank you for your time this morning, Mr. Vice President.

    Vice President CHENEY: Well, it’s good to talk to you, Matt, and we certainly want to extend our prayers to Tim’s family, and he was a remarkable individual. We’re all better for knowing him. The country and his profession are significantly enhanced by what he contributed.

    LAUER: Thanks again for your time.

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    LAUER: Although we have spent the last two hours or so trying to do justice to the life and career of Tim Russert, my fear is that we have only scratched the surface. It’s impossible, I think, for you people at home to know how big a hole we all have in our hearts this morning and how much we’ll miss our friend and our colleague, or how we will forever be trying to fill his formidable shoes. You know, Tim would be the first person to say at one point it is necessary to move on. The new cycle, he would say, demands it. There’s an election and so much more to cover. But moving on is much easier said than done when it comes to Tim Russert, because in many ways he defined us here, and I know he elevated us all.

    But just think of the feast that awaits him. Right now, he’s probably making a list of all the powerful people, the former presidents, the senators, the members of Congress, sitting up there in heaven’s green room lining up for the chance to go toe to toe just one more time with Tim. He’s probably already made the bookings calls. He’s lined up one heck a panel for tomorrow morning.
    And is always the case, he is doing his homework, he’s getting prepared. When that red light goes on, he’ll be at the top of his game. He’ll shoot from the hip, he will take no prisoners, God, what a show he will have.

    So, Tim, I leave you this morning with the words you’ve said to me on so many occasions before big interviews and before big moments in my life, `Pal, go get ’em.’