Skip to comments.Kaine and Webb: Newsman Tim Russert influenced Virginia elections
Posted on 06/14/2008 1:01:19 PM PDT by HokieMom
HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - If not for "Meet The Press" and its host, Tim Russert, Jim Webb figures he may not be a United States senator.
And a debate moderated by the NBC newsman who died Friday was a turning point in Democrat Timothy M. Kaine's campaign for governor.
Both candidates fondly recalled Russert on Saturday at the Virginia Democratic Convention and acknowledged his role in pivotal moments in their 2005 and 2006 campaigns.
Webb said his September 2006 appearance alongside Republican Sen. George Allen on "Meet The Press" was the turning point in his narrow, come-from-behind victory over Allen _ not Allen's use of the word "macaca" as he pointed out a Webb aide of Indian descent at an August campaign event.
"Because of the way he conducts the show, he was able to get myself and George Allen side-by-side and ask us a whole series of penetrating questions _ hard questions for both of us," Webb said in an interview.
Within 24 hours after the nationally televised "Meet The Press" appearance, Webb said, $150,000 in unsolicited Internet contributions poured into his cash-starved campaign.
Since Webb's election, Russert brought him back onto his signature Sunday morning newsmakers forum, the longest-running show on network television, Webb said.
"I've been interviewed by hundreds and hundreds of people over the years and he was in the top three of anyone I've ever been interviewed by," Webb said.
One year earlier, Kaine's campaign got a major lift when his Republican opponent, Jerry Kilgore, stumbled badly under Russert's relentless questioning about his position on abortion.
Russert was moderator for the annual Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate in September 2005, and he was pressing Kilgore on whether he would sign legislation outlawing abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court struck down its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Kilgore refused a yes-or-no answer to what he called a hypothetical question.
Russert persisted, asking Kilgore what he'd do if the General Assembly approved a tax increase.
"I would veto it," Kilgore replied.
"That's a hypothetical question," Russert interjected as a crowd of about 500 business leaders broke into laughter at Kilgore's expense.
Kilgore's campaign continued to lose ground, and Kaine defeated him by about 6 percentage points.
"That debate was a political moment," said Kaine, who recalled being "star-stuck" at meeting Russert that day.
"He really went after me on some death penalty issues and then he turned to Jerry on Roe v. Wade, and as he set up his set of hypotheticals, I could kind of see where it was going," Kaine said, still recalling the moment with a laugh.
I am very sad for his family. Their grief is certainly overwhelming. RIP, TR.
Why is it when someone dies, the people on here want to praise them almost like they were a Saint to Republicans when it couldn’t be farther from the truth? Even handed in tough questions to Dems and GOP? I don’t think so and your post illustrates it perfectly. Then some on here feel bad because they criticized Russert. I haven’t changed my opinion about Russert tilting elections for the Dems. Feel sorry for his family and especially his son since it is Father’s Day weekend but I am not going to say he was middle of the road and fair asking questions because he was not.
SUPER MAXIMUM DITTO TO YOUR COMMENT!
MACACA was drilled into the heads of Americans. It WAS part of the “culture of corruption” they warned us about. That and the outing of 2 homosexuals and a show trial against Tom DeLay that is STILL going nowhere on the prosecution side 3 years later.
Conservatives claim the media is partisan and leftist. I wonder if WTOP, in their effort to pay tribute to a colleague, realizes they made conservatives’ case for them.
Damn straight. Sorry he's dead... glad he's off television. Greasy Tim was a master propagandist.
This guy was a freakin’ JOURNALIST, not a doctor who cured cancer or someone that significantly improved the plight of much of anyone. If his books helped people, so be it. Call him a great author or whatever. But the praise over this guy is sickening, like he was truly one of our greatest Americans. Sorry, but I’ll take any one of the 4000 that have died in recent combat operations or the 3K-ish killed in the 9/11 attacks over him any day.
Tim Russert died 30 minutes after eating the box of chocolates that Hillary sent, thanking him for declaring Obama the nominee before half the primaries were held.
The million dollar question is who will be his replacement on MTP? Olberman or Matthews?
Sure, he wasn't as liberal as others, like that scum Olberman, but he was more influential.... He promoted the liberal causes, like abortion, etc.... So... tell me again why I should feel saddened by this?
EXACTLY!!! Savage (whom I despise) was so right on this... Glad he’s not the only one
Still, I am saddened for his family's, and friends' and colleagues' loss.
“Ill take any one of the 4000 that have died in recent combat operations or the 3K-ish killed in the 9/11 attacks over him any day”.
...couldn’t agree more! He WAS a “freakin” journalist! If anything he contributed more than his share in helping to tilt this country into a socialist state. Same thing happened when Peter Jennings died and will happen when socialist extraordinaire Walter Cronkite kicks. Actually, the coverage for Reagan’s passing will be nothing compared to what the press will do for Cronkite.
I’ve said good things about Russert, because for a lib, he wasn’t bad. But I remember Freepers saying good things about the detestable Molly Ivins when she passed. She was a mean one.
Did you see the Ted Kennedy threads?
You weren't allowed to say a word against him or you were banned!
Russert is sainted now for being "equally tough" on both parties. Is it really a plus that he was "tough" on Repubs for invading Iraq, cutting taxes, etc. etc.
Don't think so. If he had been SUPPORTIVE of these things rather than "tough" about issues that should be commensense I could respect the man.
But, no, he was a smiley-faced person who furthered the liberal cause. I have no respect for him.
Agree on him being ‘better’ than most of the libs but G Allen had as much to do with Webbs winning than anyone. Allen just had to shut up and collect money and he would probably be sitting in McCains seat right now, so we probably ‘owe’ Webb a thanks for bringing out what a supposed ‘ass’ Allen really is/was.
BTW, NBC Washington had the flag at half staff yesterday — don’t really figure it was for the boy scouts or troops...
“Kaine and Webb: Newsman Tim Russert influenced Virginia elections”
...I live in Richmond, Va and yes, if it weren’t for Russert, I’d likely have Kilgore as my Governor and Allen would be kicking Obamas skinny little Marxist a$$ for POTUS!
Free speech has some responsibilities, and limitations, even here. And that is the way it should be, as true Feepers have class.
For years people said what they wanted about the liberal celebrities whether they were Hollyweirders, TV people, print journalists, educations, etc. etc.
It used to be a lot "crasser" around here.
Yet we never got bashed mercilessly in the MSM. Why? Because the MSM doesn't want to advertise our web address to the public. Because if they did a lot more people would frequent this site!
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