In the sad days following the death of Tim Russert, conversation inevitably turned to who should take over for him on Meet the Press. (While things like this are too often said when someone dies or retires, no one can replace Russert.) Although NBC/MSNBC has a number of familiar faces, most seem to lack the appearance of nonpartisanship and moderation to try to fill that huge chair. Joe Scarborough and Keith Olbermann are both very good at what they do but lack the temperment and balance to run the show. Chris Matthews is certainly knowledgeable enough but is just a bit too much for that role. (I don't think Russert has ever been challenged to a duel.) I know he would love to have the job, but I just don't think it works. David Gregory is certainly a possibility (and perhaps the front runner), but he too has ideological baggage.
Because of all of this, I declared over the weekend that Chuck Todd should be the new host. Over the past year, Todd has proved indispensable in providing information about the ins and outs of the primary season. His knowledge of delegate allocation was invaluable, and he knew the days of the primary (if not earlier) what the ultimate results would be. (Heck, if he worked for Hillary, I'm sure she would have won the nomination.) He came across as completely unbiased, and unsurprisingly I have no idea what his politics are. Moreover, Russert seemed to think so highly of him and view him as a protege; he clearly worshiped Russert and viewed him as a father figure. Heck, he could barely keep himself together on Friday. I am pleased (and unsurprised) to see that Todd has support on both the right, from Jonah Goldberg, and the left, from Kos and Yglesias. I think that says a lot about why he should take over this position. He would be a worthy successor to Russert. (One option if NBC wants a bigger name in the short term: have Brokaw and Todd co-host for the rest of the election season and then have Todd take over afterwards.) NBC, the ball is in your court.