Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Tim Russert, 1950-2008

Politics was not something Russert simply talked about on TV; he lived it — first as a Senate and gubernatorial aide, then as the moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. He also understood it instinctively: he seemed to smell the evasions of interview subjects, and he parsed election results like a chef tasting every secret ingredient in a soup. Politics was in Russert's DNA, and his influence is now written in the DNA of political journalism. While he missed the end of what he called the election of a lifetime, he remains the gold standard for the rest of us.

James Poniewozik

See pictures of Barack Obama's nation of hope.