In Memoriam: Tim Russert, Day 4


-News to note: At 11 a.m. tomorrow morning there will be an earlier wake at St. Albans for families related to the school. And later the wake opens to the public. AND Luke Russert’s St. Albans graduating calss included the sons of Chris Matthews and Ann Compton.

-Christopher Hitchens remembers

-CNN’s Reliable Sources pays tribute to Russert

-A Facebook group wants to drum up support to have Russert memorialized in the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda.

-“Lawmakers want to name highway for the late Tim Russert

-Ed Morrissey doesn’t care for one of Chris Matthews’ Russert tributes.

-TVNewser: “Remembering Russert: The Wikipedia Question

-Ernie Tucker: “A missed chance to meet ‘Meet the Press’ host Tim Russert — but some here saw him at his jolly best.”

-Esquire remembers Russert

-William Beutler looks at the online reactions by Obama & McCain.

-Isaac Chotiner remembers

-Carol Joynt remembers

-See how Wolf Blitzer remembered Tim Russert on yesterday’s “Late Edition” after the jump….

    But I want to start this Sunday with this — if you’re a regular viewer of the Sunday morning talk shows, you no doubt tuned in today with a deep sense of sadness. This morning Tim Russert did not, as he had for the past 17 years, host NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The veteran journalist died Friday doing what he loved, working and preparing for his Sunday program. He was 58-years-old.
    BLITZER (voice-over): Tim Russert’s life revolved around two deep loves — first was his family. His parents, his wife, his son. The friends and relatives who molded his character as a young man growing up Catholic in Buffalo, New York.
    RUSSERT: There’s no place I’d rather to be than on the front lines of journalism.
    BLITZER: His second love was politics. He began in the political front lines, working for the election campaigns of legendary politicians Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mario Cuomo. CNN’s senior political analyst Bill Schneider remember when they worked together on Capitol Hill 30 years ago.
    BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it was an Irish gene. He could figure out the interests of everyone in the room and he knew how to deal with them. That was brilliant.
    BLITZER: After almost a decade of practicing politics, he turned to covering politics in 1984 when he joined NBC News and a few years later was named Washington bureau chief.
    RUSSERT: This is “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert.
    BLITZER: But most will remember him in this chair as the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He raised the Sunday morning talk show to a new level, combining his deep knowledge of politics with a willingness to probe and challenge his guests, continuing what he described as a mission.
    RUSSERT: Learn as much as can you about your guest and his and her position on the issue and take the other side. Be persistent, but be polite.
    BLITZER: He played key roles on other NBC shows. He always worked to make politics as clear to the viewer as it was to him. It was something he said came from his father, Big Russ.
    RUSSERT: When I first took over the show, he said pretend you’re talking to me. Just don’t get caught up in all the Washington fancy talk and try to keep it basic, as he would say.
    BLITZER: For everything he brought to journalism, he was always first and foremost a family man. He was married for 25 years to Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth and among all the awards and honors he won in his life, his official biography highlights father of the year and dream dad. He often talked lovingly of his son Luke, now a radio sports anchor with James Carville. And in “Big Russ & Me,” a best- selling memoir, he wrote about his own father with clear admiration.
    RUSSERT: I learned more by the quiet eloquence of his hard work, by his decency, by his loyalty than I could ever learn in any textbook.
    TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Tom Brokaw, NBC News. And it is my sad duty to report this afternoon that my friend and colleague Tim Russert, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC’s Washington bureau chief, collapsed and died early this afternoon.
    BLITZER: When the news broke of his death, words of praise came in from the journalists who competed with him and the people he covered.
    GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I’ve had the privilege of being interviewed by Tim Russert. I found him to be a hard-working, thorough, decent man.
    BLITZER: We’re the last word in Sunday talk. You know that, right?
    RUSSERT: Because if it’s Sunday, it’s “Meet the Press.”
    BLITZER: On a personal note, Tim Russert was far more than a competitor, he was my friend. Together we had the opportunity to meet the pope, enjoyed Washington Wizards basketball games and talked about our families. Sunday mornings will not be the same without him.
    BLITZER: Thanks for coming in.
    RUSSERT: Thanks, Wolf.
    BLITZER: Congratulations and good luck.
    RUSSERT: Go buffalo.