Especially given all the obvious and sincere grief expressed over at NBC, I'm hardly alone and it's almost a cliche. But Tim Russert was far and away the best of the former political operatives who have been converted to TV news types. Despite his background as a Dem (worked for Mario Cuomo and Daniel P. Moynihan), which occasionally showed through, he made a pretty good effort to be impartial. He was the best questioner on TV, backed up by serious research into previous statements and positions pols had made or taken. An interviewer hardly ever gets an "aha, I nailed him!" moment from experienced politicians who are practiced in the art of evasion and answers that sound good but don't mean much when you analyze them later, but Tim got several of those, generally as a result of being prepared. By all reports he was a genuinely decent human being. And he was from Buffalo, where my wife is from, a town I've spent a lot of mostly pleasant time in and which I could like a lot except for the weather.
I blogged about him over at Orange Punch this afternoon. This post has links to comments from all over the Web and elsewhere.