It looks like David Gregory has been selected by NBC to replace the late Tim Russert as host of Meet the Press. I predict he will flourish.
I don’t know much about his talent, since I’ve rarely seen him on TV. My prediction is based on the fact that he is, by my reckoning, approximately 17 feet tall.
He is so tall that President Bush‘s nickname for Gregory was Stretch.
But I have some firsthand evidence that Gregory uses his height to his advantage in other ways.
Back in September at the Republican National Convention, Sarah Palin came onto the stage very early in the morning, at about 6:20 a.m. local time, to suss out the surroundings for her coming-out speech later that evening.
I happened to be just down the hall from the arena at the time (doing The Takeaway), so I hurried inside. There were maybe a dozen other journalists there, lined up at the front of the stage, most of them camera people. Gov. Palin didn’t respond to anyone’s shouted questions, so everyone basically stood there gawking at her.
Suddenly, the bright stage lights seemed to have been dimmed — at least from my perspective — as if the sun had gone behind a cloud. The cloud was David Gregory.
He had marched up front and, without a word, planted his gigantic self in front of the rest of us in order to try to speak to one of Palin’s handlers. So I, and the others around me, were left looking at Gregory’s very broad, very tall back. We laughed at Gregory’s pushiness — but, you had to admit, here was a guy with a job to do and damn it, he was going to do it, even if it meant blocking out the sun for a handful of lowly colleagues.
And so, based on this tiny piece of evidence, I predict that Gregory has the gumption, the forthrightness, the self-esteem, and most of all the height to stand up to the most inside Washington insiders, to ask tough questions that the rest of us might not ask, and to otherwise prosper in his new role. I wish him luck, but I doubt he needs it.