Though nobody knew it at the time, participants in the 2013 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill saw the now-host of the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history.

Chuck Todd keynoted a dinner during that event in Washington, D.C. a year-and-a-half ago. At the time, he was NBC News’ political director and chief White House correspondent. This past Sunday, he took the helm of the network’s “Sunday best” – Meet the Press.

By many accounts, what NACDS members experienced that night proved entirely consistent with the first impression that Todd delivered in his Meet the Press debut: he radiates an unmistakable passion for politics. And NBC is looking to his energy to propel the show – which debuted in November 1947 – into the future.

The late Tim Russert – the iconic host of Meet the Press from 1991 until his sudden death in 2008 – hired Todd in 2007. Now, it is up to the mentee to put his own stamp on the program that Russert considered a pivotal force in American politics and media.

Here is a quick summary of some of the early reviews of Todd’s opening-day performance:

  • “No one who watched Meet the Press on Sunday will be able to question Todd’s preparedness or his clout. Delivering an interview with President Obama for his first show was a major coup.” (Manuel Roig-Franzia, writing in THE WASHINGTON POST)
  • “Most importantly, Todd was personable – he joked with the president, high-fived fellow panelists – and passionate. His abilities as a host and moderator can be tweaked and refined in future shows, but his passion for politics will be the key ingredient for resuscitating the beleaguered ‘Meet.’” (Dylan Byers, writing in POLITICO)
  • “Chuck Todd was an imperfect host of Meet the Press on Sunday. And that’s perfect.” (Alessandra Stanley, writing in THE NEW YORK TIMES.)

The 2015 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill is scheduled for March 11-12, 2015, at The Liaison Capitol Hill – An Affinia Hotel – in Washington, D.C.