Since Tim Russert's death was announced by NBC Friday afternoon, prominent journalists and politicians have paid tribute to him. I won't attempt to compete with the likes of Andrea Mitchell, Tom Brokaw, Barack Obama, the Clintons or various members of the Kennedy family, who praised Russert as the best political journalist of our time, a devout Catholic, patriot, devoted father and husband and loving son.
Instead, I'll try to explain why I cried for an hour last night while watching televised tributes to a man I never met. For starters, I am a Jesuit-educated journalist with working class roots and a passion for politics. Russert's son Luke just graduated from Boston College, my alma mater. Russert was a fellow Bruce Springsteen fan, something I learned a decade or so ago when I read an essay titled Springsteen & Me in a magazine called P.O.V. So we had a few things in common.