Don’t get him wrong. Chuck Todd loves his job heading up NBC’s Meet the Press. But sometimes he just has to shake his head.
“It’s getting a little Groundhog Day-ish with the presidential campaign,” Todd says with a chuckle. “It’s sort of like there’s a lot of action, but it’s all kind of the same.”
“It’s definitely different from the others,” says the Kendall native. “I sometimes feel as if I’m helping to narrate a reality show. There are people running to become famous, for book deals or speaking fees. But, hey, people, this is still the presidency of the United States.”
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OK, so we’ll stay away from red-or-blue discussions, but Todd will comment that he is pleased that Donald Trump, for example, has brought more interest to the overall campaign. The real estate mogul will be appearing on Meet the Press at 9 a.m. Sunday.
“He’s a charmer,” Todd says. “He is that old-school politician like Bill Clinton. Anyone he meets, he wants them to like him, and you understand why he’s been so successful in business. It’s a skill and clearly his gift.”
Despite the campaign’s circus-like nature, Todd firmly believes he took the right career path.
“The fact that I somehow get to interview candidates and help filter them and see whether they’re qualified for the highest office is the coolest part,” he says. “I have no idea how I became this person.”
Well, smarts and talent may have had a teensy bit to do with it.
After graduating from Miami Killian Senior High School, Todd — knowing he wanted to head into politics in some capacity — went off to D.C. to attend George Washington University. While in college, Todd worked on the 1992 presidential campaign of Sen. Tom Harkin and later at a political magazine, The Hotline, and eventually at NBC News. In September 2014, he took over at Meet The Press, an ideal gig for a news junkie.
These days, he gets to do stuff like shoot the breeze with the leader of the free world.
So what’s President Barack Obama like in person?
“He is charismatic but very much the regular guy,” says Todd, who quickly found a way to engage. “He loves talking basketball. I have a feeling when we see him in public afterward it will be at a lot of NBA games. That’s my guess.”
After a long day of current events consumption, don’t think Todd binges on headlines when he gets home to his wife and two kids.
“When I’m off, I do as much as I can not to pay attention to anything and pray the phone doesn’t ring,” he says. “I’d rather watch reruns of The Family Guy to decompress.”
To combine business and pleasure, Todd often travels to his home state of Florida.
The 43-year-old recently brought the family for a vacation in Key Biscayne, and boy, have things changed.
“I have to say, I like the new Miami of late,” he says, adding with a laugh. “But who decided that every six blocks needs to be the name of a new neighborhood? I mean, what is Midtown? That used to be a place to run red lights!”
Todd used to do a lot of things, like skip school (on occasion) with his buddies and hightail it to the beach.
“We’d go around Fifth Street and there would be no one there except old people. Now it’s South Beach.”
The ardent Hurricanes fan’s biggest gripe has to do with his beloved Orange Bowl.
“I didn’t miss a UM football game from 1980 to 1987,” Todd reports. “Here I am a grown-up, and there’s some sort of UFO that landed, and I believe they call it a baseball stadium for the Marlins. It looks nice, but I’m like, What happened! It’s so un-Orange Bowl!”