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!
Dream on MSM.
We voted in the democrat primary for Obambi because McCain had locked it up and we wanted Hillary out of the race.
Virginia is open primary.
Well, Russert used to work for DPM and them Gov. Cuomo, both liberal Democrats, so of course he was “biased”, even if he usually tried not to let it show.
Didn't you know, you're not allowed to make honest comments here.
Do you feel the same way about Republican politicians? Or are you one of those people who wish the Republicans would get tough with their words? Fight back? Get down and dirty? FR rules say no profanity and no threats or suggestions of violence. It doesn't say anything about being honest, or in your words, being crass.
Just my opinion...
I keep hearing commentators eulogize Russert by saying how “fair” he was. All I can say is “that is not the Tim Russert that I knew.”
I could tell if he was interviewing a dem or a GOP with the sound turned off, just by his facial expressions.
He was Mr smileyface for dems, and the model for the frowny YUK symbol that is placed on poison containers for Republicans (except McCain!).
I posted my reply before I read yours. LOL!
Agreed. Allen should have known that type of humor was off limits. Such a shame to lose his vote in the Senate.
Honestly, did you or anyone you know ever hear the word “macaca” before the Allen flap blew up?
I think he did not respond well because he could see no way to defend against nothing.
Right you are~ That wasn’t just Russert, though, it was all the media including Fox News which disgusted me. Over and over, macaca, macaca, and they also did the same hammering of Dean over his enthusiastic yelling in the Dem primaries the year or two before. The media can use their repetitive rebukes to the point a candidate has no chance. Not that I have much sympathy for Dean not being a dem, but the observation still is valid.
Totally agree. I remember Russert appearing on The Today Show during President Bush’s run for the White House. He and Katy were just so excited about the outcome of some of the polls. Made me sick. I am sorry he died, sorry for his family but I did not like his politics. Sorry!
I don’t care, don’t watch the show.
A lot of people do, and unfortunately it will influence their vote on election day. Mainstreaming Olberman or Matthews hosting MTP is a scary thought.
If you really believe any of that crap about George Allen then you are incredibley naive.
Yes, he stuck his foot in his mouth. But once that happened he got incredibly bad campaign advice from his campaign, most notably Dick Wadhams. I've known George Allen for over 20 years. Have followed his every campaign and am very well acquainted with many of his key advisors.
The 2006 Allen campaign was not the George Allen we'd seen in the previous 20 years, and the difference was Dick Wadhams. And that shows up in the point that Wadhams came out and trashed Allen following the campaign.
Combine that with the relentless pursuit of the macaca non-story by the Washington Post, and the relentless attemps to brand Allen a racist through manufactured stories, all the time ignoring Jim Webb's love afair with the Confederacy, and you have George Allen losing by 9,000 votes...on a night when Republicans were losing across the country.
I heard that Russert died!!!
1) Sorry for his sudden death at age 58.
2) Seemed like a nice guy, probably was.
3) Life long Democrat who worked against Repubs.
4) Left leaning journalist who favored Dems in all interviews.
That pretty much sums it up, politically. Not a hero, not a friend to political conservatives.
are you logged in?
Sorry, I forgot the sarcasm tag.
If ever there was a revenge motive... The Beast would be suspect #1. That illegal alien, drivers license question(NY/Spitzer) she botched up(debate) was the beginning of the end.
Fat Timmy drove it home like a stake into a vampire... he was relentless.
And it’s not even true that he was equally tough on both parties. He was good at making it look like he was equally tough, on the surface anyway, but it was easy to see through the scam
Occasionally he’d really give hell to a Democrat, but more often than not, even though he may have asked a tough question, he’d let the Dem spin away with some nonsense BS answer, without challenge. Republicans didn’t get that treatment. They were given tough followup questions instead.
That’s the way I saw it anyway.
If you really believe and of that crap about George Allen then you are incredibley (sp) naive.
When are the folks in the rest of the country gonna figure out that we here in Virginia have a plan for the rest of the country, the same way that we did back in the 1770's?
Thanks for posting your insights. Very helpful.
Well, like I said, I’ve known George Allen for over 20 years.
I haven’t spent nearly as much time reading the Washington Post.
Jim Webb may claim to be an honorable man—I have sincere doubts, btw—....