June 18th, 2008
03:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Russert funeral brings presidential foes together


Watch CNN's Wolf Blitzer and David Bohrman discuss what transpired between Sens. Obama and McCain at Tim Russert's funeral mass Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It was a pretty amazing sight. John McCain and Barack Obama came to Tim Russert’s funeral mass today here in Washington. The fact that they took time out from their campaigns to do so was already impressive, and certainly a lovely tribute to Tim. But they also did more. They wound up sitting right next to each other during the 90 minute service.

Before the service started, they were chatting rather amiably and intensely for 15-20 minutes. Those of us who were invited to the Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown were impressed that Tim, even in his tragic and untimely death, was able to bring these two presidential candidates together.

It was a powerful statement of Tim’s unique role here in Washington.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who presided over the gathering, warmly welcomed McCain and Obama. He spoke eloquently about Tim’s faith, family and journalistic profession.

So did Tim’s remarkable 22-year-old son, Luke, who delivered some beautiful Words of Remembrance. He told them what his dad would have told them: the American public wants their presidential candidates to discuss the most important issues of the day and not get bogged down with trivial personal attacks.

Luke also said that his dad was often so irritated when politicians refused to acknowledge they had changed their minds on important policy issues. There’s nothing wrong, Luke said, in someone’s changing his or her mind. He’s right of course. Obama and McCain were clearly paying attention.

I suspect those strong words will have an impact on these two presidential candidates in the coming weeks and months.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. paul

    I for one am sorry for his families great lost.

    Before every one wants to remember him as being a great journalist you might like to take the time to remember he was a husband, a father and a son or brother.

    His job played only a small part of who the man was.

    In fact I don’t think many of you that have said he was a great man even knew him well enough to make that statement.

    I am not sorry he is no longer with us. I am sorry he is no longer with his family and friends.

    They lost a great deal more then we have with his death.

    June 18, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Phyllis

    I have always viewed Meet the Press as a really boring show, but in the past year can't seem to turn away from it. Mr. Russert was a fair host, he sparked my interest in Meet the Press and he will be a hard act to follow.

    His enthusiasm was contageous and enlightening. When he spoke about the Dem. National Convention and that if Obama was the presumptive nominee and received the dem. nomination for president, his acceptance speech would be given on the anniversary of Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech; he showed his excitement as to the kind of speech that Senator Obama will likely give.

    I was so moved by his excitement that I am still reeling with the feeling. I pray that his family be assured that he touched many lives near and far and we all feel their loss. May God keep them in his Grace and Mercy.

    June 18, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Nina De Ponca

    Let's not politicize Tim Russert's Funeral in any way .... to do so is distasteful.

    In fact, I liked Tim, but we've heard far too much about him over the past 5 days, expecially from NBC....

    June 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Dee

    I am truly going to miss Tim Russert. I have been asking myself lately every time I listen to something political, what will Tim say about that. He is truly going to be missed. God bless his family.

    June 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Roni from Vegas

    My Sunday mornings will just not be the same...I cannot even imagine how his family must feel. For myself and many others we all feel like we have lost a close friend. He was one of my heroes and I admired him for his honesty and integrity...he will be missed.

    June 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. HRP

    Tim Russert was a giant of a man. Especially so in today's world. I just can't imagine Sunday mornings without him. His wonderful son will continue to be a credit to him. I also think it speaks volumes that McCain & Obama could sit next to each other at his remembrance. They put their own differences aside and came together for Tim. I could hope that the campaigns will go this well. Wouldn't it be great to see them put aside the silliness and put the people of this country first.

    June 18, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Biel Thich

    Tim will be missed by many people around the globe. I hope Obama and McCain will honor him by telling the truth to the American people.

    Biel Thich
    Omaha, Ne

    June 18, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Bridgette-PA

    I will miss you Tim. Politics will never be the same without you. God Bless you and your family always. I pray now that the media follows in your footsteps.

    June 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Ngoh, WI

    Tim was unique in his job. I watched him every Sunday. I personally enjoyed when he often reminded his guest, and politicians alike about what they had earlier said, but seem to try to fool the public by saying something different if cornered. As the man always said in his trade mark "lets watch". I hope NBC will fill in some one who will continue with this trade mark. Tim was simply a good and honest man.

    June 18, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Trudie, MS

    I really liked Tim Russert. I think it was so admirable that his son gave Barack and John some words of wisdom. Politicians should be able to change their minds, and they do need to talk about non-trivial issues. America is hurting, and we need our politicians to talk, talk, talk.

    God bless you Tim, for leaving us those important words to live by.

    Tim Russert = Heaven, Heaven, Heaven

    June 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    I hope this resonates with both candidates........better yet, it would be great if it resonated with the 527's.

    June 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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