Mr. Tim Russert 1950-2008
I met this man in two very different places, and at two very different times. I don't recall the exact dates because I travel so much and cross back and forth between Washington DC and NYC when I go to the East Coast. I met Tim on the streets of NYC in 2004 I think it was, I was doing one show or another with Faith, and I think it was the same trip where I also met talk show host Jerry Springer on the streets - Time Square to be exact. Tim was laughing and I love his smile. He raised his hands in the air and clapped for Faith. Faith was walking around Time Square and just being Faith - I thought I recognized Tim but I wasn't sure. He stopped me just short of shaking his hand, and squeezed my arm with both his hands. He was still laughing. I remember thinking "He's a big man!" He just thought Faith was the cutest thing.
Well, time went on and I met a few people who told me they had heard about Faith from Tim. No matter what side of the political fence anyone was on, I didn't hear a single word from anyone that was lodged against Tim. You can't count the words where they felt cornered by him, or that he was getting the best of them in an interview. He did his job well enough to do the work without offending the subject, but the thing I thought was so great about Tim was that smile - always there, always free for the asking.
I saw Tim again not long ago - in Washington DC this time. Maybe it was mid to late March, I was in and out of that area quite a bit. I was in the airport - BWI. He came up to me and said "Saw you on Animal Planet Girl", he was talking to Faith. He said she was just as talented and as funny as he had remembered when we had seen each other on Times Square. I managed to ask Tim a question because I had just seen his face (and his father's face) on the cover of his 2nd best selling book. I asked him who his agent was. I told him I needed one. Without even blinking he stared straight at me and said he'd make the call. He didn't have much time so I just gave him my business card. I never heard from him until last week.
I got a call and it sounded like he was again at the airport. Tim said "Jude, this is Tim Russert. I didn't want you to think I had forgotten about telling my agent (and he said his name) about you. I'll do that I promise. I just got behind and thought about it again today. Someone saw you in the Dallas airport and was talking about it here in D.C." I think he must have been at the Starbucks because that's usually where I go when I'm at the airports and people come by and interview me, talk to me, pet Faith, take pictures, and basically it's the best networking a girl can do - - well, if you happen to have a two-legged famous dog with you.
Mr. Russert died today. I'm not surprised to hear that he had an enlarged heart - I think he must have had a bigger heart than most journalists, and most reporters. We're really going to miss that guy - really, really, really! Good Night Tim.