Beltway Reacts to Passing of Meet the Press “Butler”

Today, the Washington Post profiles Saadalla Mohamed Aly, the “perenially tuxedoed butler” (no lie!) for NBC’s Sunday morning political chat show, Meet the Press. Aly died last month at age 79 and had apparently “served, greeted and ultimately endeared himself to the nation’s leaders, power brokers and influence makers for roughly 30 years.” (Tom Friedman “greeted him in Arabic.”)

The Post tapped some of these Washington insiders for comment on Aly’s passing. And, well, Beltway people, do you hear yourselves? Carville and Kearns Goodwin tie for saddest comment.

“In a Washington way,” said Democratic strategist James Carville, who was shaken by the news of Aly’s death, “he was kind of a friend.


“There was something about the sameness of having that person there,” said historian and frequent guest Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Which, maybe, is how the producers of Meet the Press feel about Kearns Goodwin?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.