News & Politics

Remembering Tim Russert: The Washingtonian Interview

Tim Russert was featured in the "Capital Comment" section of the November 2001 issue of The Washingtonian. The interview follows:

Favorites: Tim Russert: He Likes Nantucket, the Palm, Tesoro, and the Bills

By Chuck Conconi

If it’s Sunday, it must be Tim Russert hosting Meet the Press, the Sunday-morning news and interview show that beats all the competition.

Favorite escape: Nantucket, where we have a house. There’s a local there, Captain Tom, who when he answers his phone says, “This is heaven.” That says it all.

Luncheon restaurant: My desk or the Red Tomato in Bethesda, where they have a great chicken Caesar salad.

Dinner restaurant: Tesoro, which means “treasure,” at Connecticut and Yuma. It has the best penne arrabbiatta in America.

Special-occasion restaurant: The Palm—steak, lobster, Palm fries. My son loves the place and, just like his grandpa, upholds the family tradition of surf and turf.

Favorite place in another country: Donegal, Ireland. You stand there on the cliffs and can see seven shades of blue and then look at the land and see seven shades of green.

Favorite museum: The Newseum in Arlington, which is soon to move to downtown DC. I’m on the board and have loaned them my famous FLORIDA FLORIDA FLORIDA greaseboard from election night.

Best books read in the last year: John Adams by David McCullough; An Hour Before Daylight by Jimmy Carter, about growing up with a black family; Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden, a must-read if you want to understand what we may be getting into in Afghanistan; and Jack: Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch, about his view of leadership and management in his career at GE.

Movies seen recently: I’m a big movie lover but haven’t seen anything since September 11. Earlier I saw Memento (chilling), Greenfingers (great), The Closet (very funny), The Deep End (riveting), With a Friend Like Harry, and The Score (I’m a sucker for thrillers).

Favorite television program: Anything connected with news or sports. I now have a dish. I didn’t know there were so many offerings. I watch movies. My favorite of all time is Cool Hand Luke. I’ve seen it 30 times, and my son’s name is Luke.

Favorite sports team: The Buffalo Bills! But I have season tickets to the O’s and the Wizards, and it was looking like a long, cold winter, but my fortunes have changed. Mr. Jordan will warm all our hearts, and come November 3 I’ll be front and center when Allen Iverson (formerly of Georgetown) comes to Michael’s house.

Favorite musicians: Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. Every song, every album. My taste hasn’t changed in 25 years, and when I’m preparing for Meet the Press, that music is playing in the background.

Clothing shops: Lands’ End–I’m no Beau Brummell. Brooks Brothers and Saks as a later addition.

Historical figure you would most like to meet: Jesus Christ. He was only on earth 33 years, and 2,000 years later we still live with him and his teachings on a daily basis. He’s also the person I’d most like to interview on Meet the Press.

What makes Washington special? Two things. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family; it has the civility of a small town but the energy of a great international city. Two, it’s filled with good and interesting people from all across the country who came here well-intentioned—you may not always agree with them, but they do want to do the right thing.


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