From the column:
"Above all, though, he brought to journalism a rare elegance of spirit. In tackling really hard questions, he carefully weighed opposing arguments before the application of reason, guided by strong liberal instincts, led him to a crisp conclusion. The approach, and his personal style, were gentle. But gentleness should not be confused with softness. On some issues, such as Iraq, you could knock against a surprising toughness, like an underwater rock. He stoutly defended his support for George Bush’s invasion in 2003, based on the information that was available at the time, but never shrank from cataloguing the disasters that followed."