Future Lawyers Meet a Political Animal

Because of his family's blue-collar background, Russert had to work to put himself through college and law school. "For four summers, I picked up garbage, delivered the Buffalo News, made pizza, drove a cab," Russert told George magazine recently. "That was my summer vacation."

After passing the bar in New York and the District of Columbia, Russert began what seemed would be a long and distinguished career in politics.

Russert got his start volunteering for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), driving with him on campaign road trips in New York.


Moynihan recounted in an interview with The Crimson how Russert got his start in Moynihan's Washington office.

"My wife, who knows more about politics than I do, said to me, 'Do you remember that nice, young man from Buffalo? Why don't you see about bringing him to Washington?'" Moynihan says.

Russert quickly moved up in the ranks, becoming Moynihan's chief of staff in Washington D.C. by the age of 29.

"He took over the regional offices in New York, and he was so good at it, that one thing led to another, and the rest is history," Moynihan adds.

But in 1984, after two years in New York Governor Mario Cuomo's office, Russert's plans changed as he made the leap from politics to media.

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