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Chuck Todd is so excited, you guys! It's his first week as the new host of Meet the Press. That other guy with two first names failed his way into a $4 million buyout and NBC, looking to bring back the powerhouse once steered by Tim Russert, took the opportunity to slip Tim's son Luke and Morning Misery Joe Scarborough in along with Chuck to lend the proper gravitas. We couldn't wait to see Chuck's debut Sunday morning, by which we mean we slept in and caught the late rerun.


Chuck sure isn't going to take it easy on powerful people, at least going by the hard-hitting interview with Barack Obama that occupied most of the show. After demanding to know whether Obama plans to announce a fun new war in his speech on Wednesday, which is the day before 9/11!!! in case the president hadn't noticed, Chuck totally busted the president for covering up the implications of military action against ISIS: "You have not said the word Syria so far in our conversation." It was a bold takedown, especially after Obama had brought up ISIS's "territorial ambitions in Syria" less than a minute into the interview, then described the danger of ISIS shifting from Iraq to Syria and the escalation of sectarian violence in Syria immediately before Chuck took him to task for dodging the Syria issue.

And just when we thought he'd forgotten the heaviest political question of the week, at the very end Chuck remembered to ask the president about the timing of his golf game two weeks ago. Journalism.

Hey wait! Chuck has more things to talk about! And they have wacky new segment names like What Everyone In Washington Knows But Is Afraid To Say, so it certainly isn't just his panel recycling political chatter from other cable shows. It's fresh, innovative stuff, like: Hillary is totally running. Why doesn't she just say so? It's getting embarrassing. Joe Scarborough's not so sure, because her book tour has been a "disaster." Anyway, Hillary is definitely running. Probably. Any day now.

And there were some mayors talking about how useless Washington is and Chuck flipping excitedly through Senate races on his beloved touch-screen but not, we repeat, NOT an appearance by Luke Russert. We assume they are saving Luke's vast experience on Capitol Hill for closer to the election, when it is truly needed.

Good luck, Chuck! You're standing on the shoulders of giants. Do your best to not destroy the longest-running program on American television. We'll be watching. Sometimes.

[Meet the Press]

You can follow Beth on Twitter for Sunday talk show beer & wine pairings.

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