Tim Russert’s 22-year-old son Luke just got the kind of job most new grads wouldn’t dare to hope for: he’ll be working as a correspondent for NBC News during the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions. The job is bittersweet for Luke since his dad passed away unexpectedly a month ago. Given everything he’s gone through, Luke still seems pretty excited about the opportunity.
Like father, like son. Luke Russert – son of Meet the Press’s Tim Russert, who died tragically this summer – has signed on to help cover the Republican and Democratic national conventions later this year. He’ll report on youth issues for his dad’s network, NBC.
“I’m not trying to be my father,” Luke told the Associated Press. “He’s irreplaceable.” Tim – a respected newsman and NBC’s Washington bureau chief – died of a heart attack in June. He was 58.
His 22-year-old son, a Boston College graduate and regular host [with James Carville] of XM Satellite Radio’s 60/20 Sports, said he was “humbled and grateful” for the opportunity. “I’m simply trying to do something that I think there’s a real niche for,” he said. “There’s a calling for … youth [involvement], not just in the election but in politics from now on.”
The Democratic conventional will be held in Denver, starting August 25. The Republican gathering begins Sept. 1 in St. Paul, Minn.
On Monday Russert’s widow Maureen Orth told Matt Lauer that she and Luke were “doing great” because of the outpouring of support and love they’d received from all over.
Orth, a high-profile journalist who was promoting her latest in-depth feature — a cover story on France’s controversial first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, in the September issue of Vanity Fair — said Russert would have been tickled with how media coverage of his passing impacted today’s popular culture.
“You have to know that his People magazine cover knocked off the Summer’s Hottest Bachelors,” Orth said with a laugh. “He broke Britney Spears’ record for most hits on People.com. So this would make Tim so happy and make him laugh so hard.”
The day after Russert died, Bruce Springsteen – a longtime friend – gave a tribute to him on stage and performed “Thunder Road” in his honor. Just three days after his father died, Luke appeared on the Today show and talked about what a great man his father had been. It was around that time that rumblings started that Luke might have a future career in journalism, because he was so composed and well-spoken. His father must be extraordinarily proud.
Here’s Luke speaking at his father’s memorial service in Washington D.C.