By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
I've found that with a little barbeque sauce, crow actually tastes...like chicken. I reference of course my trash talk in my Friday posting, predicting -- ASSUMING -- a Giants victory over the Redskins last night. My son and I were there for the humiliating loss. We braved the 17-degree wind-chill, we braved snow and wind in the face, we even braved the sausage sandwiches at the stadium. When we turned around in our seats and realized the season ticket holders sitting behind us in section 212 didn't bother to come back to their seats for the second half, we knew we had a problem. Our beloved Boys in Blue really stunk up the place. Later, in line for the bus back to the Port Authority in New York (the ONLY way to travel to the Meadowlands without spending a significant portion of your life in the Meadowlands parking lot) my son guessed that it was the coldest he'd ever been. I placed it third -- after Bosnia and Iraq. He's just 16; give him time. We had a great night, and we were even polite to the Washington fans who walked past the bus line of hundreds of Giants fans singing the Redskins fight song, "Hail to the..." I can't finish it.
Much excitement surrounding tonight's broadcast. We've been looking for a new announcer ever since our beloved, veteran "voice of Nightly News" Howard Reig left us for retirement two years ago. Many of you will be reading this after 6:30 eastern time (our first live feed of the broadcast) when the "identity" of our new announcer will already be known. Let me just say this about this man: I called him, I appealed to his sense of history and tradition and his love of the medium -- and he said yes without hesitation. I was a fan before this. Now I am devoted to the guy.
What a great political story we have developing in Iowa. As one of our political pros put it, "there's a five-way tie for second, and 'none of the above' is the front-runner." You've got this weekend's endorsements, you've got today's endorsement of McCain, you've got Edwards on the cover of Newsweek, you've got Romney on Meet the Press (and Ron Paul next weekend), you've got a former president in a de facto, same-team competition for air time with his wife, the candidate... and in short: you've got quite a race. The Hillary-and-surrogates helicopter tour of all 99 Iowa counties reminds me of the most artful use ever of a helicopter in American politics: LBJ's campaign for U.S. Senate in Texas in 1948.
The chopper was dubbed "The Flying Windmill" and looked vaguely like a salt shaker with propellers. Johnson was smart enough to know that it would bring the townspeople out. Many had never seen such an aircraft before -- and they'd certainly never encountered a man like Lyndon Johnson before. As a gimmick, he more than once threw his hat out the window of the hovering helicopter (after buzzing the town at low altitude, using the racket and spectacle of the unwieldy whirlybird to call attention to his visit) and a petrified volunteer staffer would then be dispatched to retrieve it on the ground. Note: don't try this at home. Or in Iowa.
It was great reading all of your emails over the weekend. We hope you enjoy the new "voice of Nightly News" at the top of tonight's broadcast and hereafter. Thanks for tuning in tonight -- and always.