Shrum on 'The Greatest Political Interviewer of Our Time'

Bob Shrum, a Democratic strategist and frequent guest on Meet the Press, said he thinks that Tim Russert was "the greatest political interviewer of our time and maybe all time."

"He held people to account. Politicians love to change their views depending on circumstances — they are only human — and there was Tim with a quote from six months ago, a year ago, five years ago, to put it up on the screen and say, ‘Well, how do you explain your position today, when you said this five years ago?’

"The other thing he did was he reinvented the Sunday talk show. The Sunday talk show could have died. He gave it new life and drama and people really cared about it. And at a human level, he was just a terrific person. He knew my father was sick, he sent him an audio book with an autograph. Of course he wouldn’t open it because he didn’t want to ruin the autograph. I told Tim and he said, ‘I owe you another audio book.’ But I find the whole thing unbelievable. I’m supposed to be taping a show with him next Thursday and I’m talking to you about him in the past tense.

"The other thing is that he was a progressive Democrat, he never made any secret about that, but he was totally fair. You could get people on both sides of the aisle to say that. Tough. He could be very tough. But he said what he thought. So on the night of Indiana and North Carolina he looked in to the camera and said we now know who the Democratic nominee for president is going to be, and he was right. Some people criticized him for that, but it was the truth." Shrum on 'The Greatest Political Interviewer of Our Time'