When legendary journalist and16-year moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert, died of a heart attack on June 13, the country’s eyes were all on his beloved son, Luke Russert.
The Boston College grad, 23, has since followed in his dad’s footsteps and, just four months after his father’s death, Luke’s already made a name for himself working as a correspondent for NBC News and covering youth issues for the 2008 election.
With this year’s historic elections less than a month away, Luke says he’s found his calling and has no plans to quit after Nov. 4.
"I’m signed up through August 2009 so I’ll continue to report on youth’s issues," Luke told OK! at the MTV Networks Election Effect Panel Discussion in NYC on Oct. 15. "I’m actually looking forward to the election being over so we can see what actually happens with these promises candidates are making. Both candidates have made a lot of promises to young folks but there’s a lot of financial constraints that might limit them."
Luke participated in the youth-driven discussion where MTV presented a new study to the audience of young voters. The Election Effect study showed how voters between the ages of 18 and 34 ranked experience low among the qualities they want in the next president, while rankng integrity, security, change and openness as top qualities.
"A lot of folks say it can’t really get any worse, so what’s the difference if we put in someone who only was governor for two years, or someone who was just a state legislator six years ago?" Luke said in the panel discussion.
His smarts and good looks have also made Luke a viable bachelor in young Hollywood. After Anne Hathaway‘s breakup with boyfriend Raffaello Follieri, fans of the actress told OK! they thought Luke would be an ideal match for the politically minded star, who attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
"I was the young hot guy that everyone was talking about in Denver that she just had to meet," Luke said. "It was really entertaining. All my friends read that and they really had a good laugh."
Besides his dating life stealing headlines, Luke’s become known for his interviewing skills and snagging the only interview with Bill Clinton after his speech at the DNC. While the exposure and media attention is something new to the young journalist, fame is not what he’s aiming for.
I’m enjoying my time but I’m very much aware that tomorrow I could not be recognized anywhere," Luke said. "And I’m okay with that."
By Laura Lane