Political Animal

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January 26, 2012 8:00 AM Your New Blogger

By Ed Kilgore

As Paul and Steve announced yesterday, I am taking on the daunting task of succeeding Mr. Benen at Political Animal. I read every single comment following Steve’s announcement of his new gig, and am awe-struck by the devotion he has inspired from a very well-informed readership.

I hope you will assess my work on its own terms. I can’t duplicate Steve’s style (or probably, his daily word-count) and won’t continue his signature features; for one thing, I want to pay him the courtesy of letting him take them along to his new digs if he so desires. We have somewhat different backgrounds (I’ll get to that in a moment), though our basic points of view on politics and policy are entirely congruent.

What definitely won’t change is the basic mission of this blog: to help guide busy people through the political news of the day, not just with links and quotes but with value added. Like Steve, I hope to identify developments you might have missed, and if not, to give you insights or perspectives you might not find elsewhere, certainly not in one place. By training and inclination, I am less a reporter or a wonk (though I have been both) than an analyst, someone who likes to synthesize large quantities of information into what matters most.

Some of you may be familiar with my work elsewhere (at The New Republic, The Democratic Strategist, Salon, or the Monthly) or checked out my guest-blogging stint here in December. But Paul has asked that I explain my background, so just this one time, here’s a brief bio:

I am a native of the Deep South, spending most of my childhood and early adulthood in Georgia, attending public schools and living a normal white middle-class life, though I had the special advantage of two parents who hated bigotry and valued independent thinking. After college and a major in an interdisciplinary humanities program we called the “pre-unemployment curriculum,” I spent two years in dead-end jobs before panicking and going to law school, and then stumbled into my first political post as a federal-state relations liaison for the governor of Georgia. That’s what first brought me to the Emerald City of Washington, and taught me about the peculiar culture of Congress and federal agencies.

After backing the wrong horse in a subsequent governor’s race, I spent a few years in State Agency exile, which exposed me to economic development and state-local relations work (of greater value later than I then imagined). After my boss chilled my bones by telling me I had a fine career ahead of me as a state bureaucrat, I was anxious to reconnect with what I imagined to be the Big Time, at one point sending off an unsolicited (and unacknowledged) manuscript to my favorite publication, the Washington Monthly.

I eventually landed a job as speechwriter for the then-dominant political figure in my state, Sen. Sam Nunn, and from there went on to work for the Democratic Leadership Council (those troubled by or interested in that connection should read this post) and its undervalued think-tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, becoming the DLC policy director for a good while. There I wrote papers on an array of social policy issues; was responsible for daily op-ed-length institutional commentary; did a lot of training for state and local elected officials; helped edit Blueprint Magazine; got into blogging as the DLCer other bloggers didn’t hate; and on the side, ghosted a book for a presidential candidate. For fun, I joined the quadrennial band of volunteers who worked in the script and speechwriting shop at Democratic Conventions (six at this count). And then for a variety of personal and professional reasons, I packed up, moved to Central California, became the managing editor of a fine website of political analysis called The Democratic Strategist, and dabbled in all sorts of free-lance writing.

At this point, attentive readers might be thinking: God, this guy is old for a blogger. I will admit that of the many indignities recently inflicted by Sen. Joe Lieberman, the one I took most personally was his casual destruction of the Medicare buy-in option for people in their fifties during the health reform debate. But I’m definitely young at heart (viz. my taste in music, which draws me to those periodic revivals of the punk tradition). And while I admire and envy prodigies who come out of Harvard with high hosannas and began instantly counseling the nation, there should be some room in the chattering class for those who have spent evenings explaining the federal budget process to Rotary Club audiences in rural Georgia, or worked the graveyard shift in a potato chip factory.

In sum, I hope my wandering path to this job will help bring a unique perspective to daily commentary, without any entitled old-white-guy attitude or inability to absorb new information and rethink assumptions. I’m just as excited by politics and policy as I was when I first stayed up far past my bedtime to watch election returns, or first glimpsed the Capitol, or first read the Washington Monthly and found kindred souls who believed government could actually be made useful.

So that’s my self-introduction. I’m very happy to be here. Now I’ll get to work.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Danny on January 26, 2012 8:13 AM:

    Best of luck to you Ed!

  • troglodyte on January 26, 2012 8:18 AM:

    Change is the one constant in Nature. We embrace it.
    In the immortal words of Heraclitus, "You cannot read the same blog twice"

    Welcome aboard!

  • arkie on January 26, 2012 8:18 AM:

    I'll miss Steve but I say "Release the Kilgore".

  • Marc Montefusco on January 26, 2012 8:19 AM:

    Welcome (back)! Now if only you could reform Captcha...

    Seriously - we're sorry to lose Steve, but fortunate to gain someone with your unique and valuable background. Best of luck, and you can't post too often...

  • RD Padouk on January 26, 2012 8:19 AM:

    Welcome. As a fellow child of the 70s, I am looking forward reading your analyses.

  • RosiesDad on January 26, 2012 8:20 AM:

    Welcome Ed. Look forward to reading you here.

  • hells littlest angel on January 26, 2012 8:21 AM:

    Welcome. I'm looking forward to reading your work here.

  • estamm on January 26, 2012 8:23 AM:

    I remember your stint in December, and was pleased (at the time) that the quantity and quality of the blogging/reporting did not deteriorate in Steve's absence. You have a tough act to follow, but then so did Aaron Rodgers.

    Oh yeah, captcha is really really annoying as others have pointed out. The 'blob' words are always very difficult to figure out. I don't mind the premise, but the execution is awful.

  • sapient on January 26, 2012 8:23 AM:

    Can't wait to see what the new political animal has in mind. Welcome, Ed!

  • Greytdog on January 26, 2012 8:23 AM:

    You had me at "interdisciplinary humanities", then "synthesize". . .and nailed it with the fact we're from the tail end of the boomer gen. Welcome. Let's get to work.

  • martin on January 26, 2012 8:24 AM:

    Greetings from Alabama and another of your age cohort. I followed Kevin here and look forward to you putting on your own coat of paint.

    And Mr Captcha adds, elysap Truth, which I think would be a perfectly lovely motto.

  • MR Bill on January 26, 2012 8:26 AM:

    Welcome, and Greetings from somewhere in the woods near Blue Ridge GA...
    I attended Young Harris College with Zell Miller's kids, and Emory when he taught Poly Sci there.
    I've read you before, and think you have a real shot at filling Steve's shoes.

    But, "Ah Hilzoy, thou shoulds't be blogging in this hour.."

  • just bill on January 26, 2012 8:28 AM:

    welcome, from another guy from the same generation.

  • Brenna on January 26, 2012 8:30 AM:

    Welcome Ed. I look forward to your work.

    Do you have any pull to get rid of Captcha?

  • Anatole on January 26, 2012 8:31 AM:

    Welcome to the Washington Monthly. I've enjoyed your appearances on Left, Right, and Center, so I look forward to reading your informed analysis here.

  • SadOldVet on January 26, 2012 8:32 AM:

    Age is a matter of relativity...

    Everyone has 3 ages
    - a chronological age
    - a physiological age
    - a psychological age

    If your phsyiological age does not become an overwhelming burden and you keep a younger psychological age, then your chronological age is of minimum relevance.

    Stay young and stay progressive. Welcome and good luck.

    Of course, Craptcha keeps aging your commenters...

  • barbara on January 26, 2012 8:33 AM:

    Welcome, Ed. As grief-stricken as I am about Steve's departure (only a slight hyperbole) I'm very happy that you're the one replacing him. I'm of your generation too and have a lifelong interest in politics -- that's why I love this blog. Good luck in your new home!

  • Danp on January 26, 2012 8:35 AM:

    At this point, attentive readers might be thinking: God, this guy is old for a blogger.

    I get the impression PA has a rather mature audience. As long as the insight is new, we can deal with the occasional reference to Fog Hat.

  • AK Liberal on January 26, 2012 8:42 AM:

    Welcome. I enjoyed your writing as guest blogger and look forward to more of the same.

  • bdop4 on January 26, 2012 8:42 AM:

    Welcome, Ed.

    Life experience develops perspective, and I look forward to reading your take on the insanity that pervades our world today.

    2012 should be exhilarating, and hopefully a positive experience at our end of the spectrum.

  • the seal on January 26, 2012 8:46 AM:

    Welcome Ed, I too am so happy we get to have your daily insights.

  • Donovong on January 26, 2012 8:53 AM:

    I had no idea so many late 50-ish, WASP-ish Southerners like me read Benen! Now there's an old fart writing for us. Before long, we will rule the world! Wait, what?

    Good luck, Ed.

  • Chat Noir on January 26, 2012 8:55 AM:

    Welcome, Ed! I enjoyed your stint in December and I will continue to read Political Animal with you on board. I look forward to your analysis on the political news of the day. Congrats on the new gig, too!

  • Jim pharo on January 26, 2012 9:01 AM:

    Use fewer words.

  • merrinc on January 26, 2012 9:03 AM:

    Love this description of Gingrich: "the mind of an undisciplined grad student and the soul of Boss Tweed." Looks like Political Animal will still be my first read in the morning. Welcome, Ed.

  • Deech56 on January 26, 2012 9:06 AM:

    Welcome! (Now back to lurking.) ;-)

  • Jeff In Ohio on January 26, 2012 9:07 AM:

    Kudos on your 8am posting. Don't get lazy.

    :)

    Best of luck with your new endeavor, look forward to reading you every morning and end of day.

  • chi res on January 26, 2012 9:10 AM:

    And while I admire and envy prodigies who come out of Harvard with high hosannas and began instantly counseling the nation, there should be some room in the chattering class for those who have spent evenings explaining the federal budget process to Rotary Club audiences in rural Georgia, or worked the graveyard shift in a potato chip factory.

    Amen to that!

    Welcome!

  • David on January 26, 2012 9:12 AM:

    Welcome, Ed. Lieberman's Medicare buy-in betrayal stung me too - and for the same reasons.

  • grape_crush on January 26, 2012 9:12 AM:

    Welcome, Ed.

    Thanks for introducing yourself and, as someone who is unfamiliar with your work, look forward to becoming acquainted with it.

  • Jeff In Ohio on January 26, 2012 9:12 AM:

    Oh, and the Grippo's factory is right down the street if you burn out and need a place to crash between shifts. Ohio's not so bad and is where you'll want to be when the world's climate crashes.

  • Doc Sportello on January 26, 2012 9:13 AM:

    Welcome.

    Potato chip factory?

  • DisgustedWithItAll on January 26, 2012 9:14 AM:

    Welcome Ed. Change can be exhilarating.

    Anybody having a problem with rss feeds for Political Animal, today? I wouldn't think changing bloggers would affect it, but maybe WM changed something.

  • Cranky Ruby on January 26, 2012 9:20 AM:

    Glad you're here, Ed, and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts. Like others, I thought your work here in December was swell. Welcome!

  • chopin on January 26, 2012 9:26 AM:

    Morning, Ed. And welcome!
    I enjoyed reading your bio. Any chance that graveyard stint at the potato chip factory put you in proximity to one Chris Christie? I hope that exposure to law school piques your interest in reporting stories of legal intrigue. Trust me, that topic brings out some very interesting commentary from lurking readers. And finally dude, you need to broaden your taste in music to encompass the long term ;-)

  • Amanda on January 26, 2012 9:31 AM:

    Yes, welcome. You had me with synthesize and really set the hook with potato chip factory. I'll be here as often as ever.

  • Rick B on January 26, 2012 9:32 AM:

    Welcome, Ed. I have regularly read your work in the Democratic Strategist and frequently regretted that I had so little of your writing to read. Still, I remember my panic when Kevin Drum was replaced until I grew comfortable with Steve Benen.

    I'm glad you are here, though I hope I can find more "Benen" to read. I am also happy to note that the internet world is not entirely populated by puppies who barely have their eyes open and who are still stumbling around on shaky legs.

    I think you just told us that "This Week in God" is now gone. That I really regret. It was the perfect short and convenient summary of what the religious crazies were up to. I looked forward to it every Saturday. Still, I hope you enjoy this gig and thrive as Steve - and before him Kevin - rather clearly did.

    There has to be a strong draw to make me put up with Captcha and that damned floating advertisement that jumps up from the right and which I refuse to read before clicking it off. I am pretty sure that you can provide that draw.

  • kevo on January 26, 2012 9:33 AM:

    Looking forward to some good future reads, Ed! -Kevo

  • CJ on January 26, 2012 9:34 AM:

    Welcome Ed, from one Georgia progressive to another.

    I grew up in and still live in Cobb County [Walton High/UGA alum]...home of the lynching of Leo Frank, the anti-gay resolution that cost us an Olympic venue in '96, Newt Gingrich, and best of all, the Obama/Curious George t-shirt.

    Of course, like many Georgia families, my parents and siblings are all Neil Boortz/Fox News addicts, and as you might imagine, keeping the peace at family gatherings is a challenge.

    Anyway, I'm sure you know the territory well. Needless to say, it's hard out here for a pimp.

    Best of luck!

  • RL Alitheia on January 26, 2012 9:37 AM:

    Ed-

    Welcome to the (full-time) Animal! I've enjoyed reading you in the past, and truly look forward to reading you here daily! Break a pencil lead!

  • RA in Atlanta on January 26, 2012 9:44 AM:

    Ed, I want to congratulate you on your new perch. I've been reading your stuff, as well as the Washington Monthly, for years now -- and I do mean years (I'm old enough to remember reading James Fallows in the Monthly). And I'm a fellow Georgia Democrat (who even worked for Max Cleland long, long ago), which is to say I belong to an endangered species.

    As I was reading Steve's post about going to work at MSNBC, I actually startled my wife with a loud "All Right!" when I read that YOU were going to be replacing him. I look forward to continuing to have this site explain it all to me.

    Best of luck. Illegitimi non carborundum.

  • Kathryn on January 26, 2012 9:44 AM:

    Welcome Ed, love Political Animal, enjoyed your writing when you stood in for Steve. We all were crazy for Steve and wish him well with Rachel. With your Georgia background, you will be very valuable in observing and dissecting the jumbled brain of Newt Gingrich. I would like to understand where his grandiosity and megalomania come from, seems a popular trait in today's GOP field, Herman Cain was no slouch in that department. What's the mass appeal to such folks, don't get it, but know it's not healthy.

  • JD on January 26, 2012 9:48 AM:

    We're lucky to have you. Godspeed.

  • Harvest on January 26, 2012 9:56 AM:

    You're awesome, Ed. Must be the rigorous "pre-unemployment curriculum" (love it!), which obviously trained you to be inquisitive, flexible, insightful, and articulate. You're certainly a worthy successor to the venerable Steve Benen. Welcome!

  • jpeckjr on January 26, 2012 9:58 AM:

    Another Georgia native (now in California) here welcoming you. I've been reading Political Animal since Kevin Drum's days, and the Monthly since, wow, the early 1980s, so you can count on my hanging in there with someone whose accent I can understand!

  • Keeping Track on January 26, 2012 10:01 AM:

    Welcome, Ed to your new happy home and the gang.
    It sounds like there's enough peed-off 50 plus composters on this blog to make a real difference in Sen. Lieberman's future.

    ON a more twisted note, I enjoy Captcha. It feels like an IQ test question as the price to post. And the rising ad I never click, on principle, gives me a good feeling of being able to focus past all the other distractions that besiege us nowadays.

    Enjoy the moment,
    All the best

  • Patrick Star on January 26, 2012 10:08 AM:

    @ danp: it's "Foghat"; one word, not "Fog Hat"; don't be a Fool For The City :)

    Welcome Ed; think of yourself as a new teacher at a high school on the wrong side of the tracks, and us commenters as the sneering, leather-jacketed, gum-chewing juvenile delinquents who are sizing you up and looking for a weakness. I didn't think anyone could replace Kevin Drum, but Steve obviously did a great job, and I'm sure you will, too. And, by all means, feel free to throw in a music reference once in a while, it lightens things up.

  • low-tech cyclist on January 26, 2012 10:09 AM:

    Welcome, Ed! I don't expect your age to be any handicap. I'm in my late 50s, and I know that time, diverse experiences, and reflection have sharpened my thinking, rather than ossified it.

    (And boy howdy, did mine ever need sharpening. Maybe Ezra Klein could see clearly enough in his early 20s to write the things he did, but at the same age, my thinking was a muddle.)

    Things change, people move around, and anyone with any wisdom doesn't expect the new guy to be the old guy. The best boss I've ever had retired a year ago, and it was a real loss - but his successor has brought her own unique set of skills and attributes to the job, and she's doing fine.

    So you aren't Steve, but that's OK. Settle in and take this blog for a spin;!

  • June on January 26, 2012 10:12 AM:

    Ed, it was a pleasure to read your intro. Welcome. Although I'm still verklempt over the end of Benen's reign here, I look forward to this new era of Political Animal.

  • Max on January 26, 2012 10:13 AM:

    Welcome, Ed. Full confidence from here on your ability to pick up the ball and keep it moving. I may be in the minority in not minding if you post a wee bit less often than Steve (once I made up my mind to read everything he posted because it was so valuable, I was surprised he could provide such quality with such quantity).

    I am also reassured by Captcha comments here...I was afraid it was just me.

  • C Coleman on January 26, 2012 10:13 AM:

    More on the punk rock stuff please!!!

  • SFinch on January 26, 2012 10:18 AM:

    Since so many people already said welcome, I'll say ahlan wa sahlan Ed! I'm looking foward to your posts.

  • Josh on January 26, 2012 10:23 AM:

    Awesome, welcome to Political Animal Ed!

    I've seen your work around the web and look forward to reading much more from you. Although I plan to follow Steve where ever he goes, I plan to stay loyal to Political Animal.

  • bubbaroy on January 26, 2012 10:23 AM:

    Another "welcome" from another Georgia boy (even though I qualify for medicare in April!). Not all white southerners are the backwoods, racist rednecks that many bloggers / commenters assume we are. (Well, actually I guess I am somewhat "backwoods" and "redneck" came from someone who worked out in the sun - but you know what I mean.)

    I am glad you shared your background with us. It might help some of our "not of the south" brethren have empathy for us (we have to live here amongst the "conservatives" [for lack of a better word])rather than prejudged scorn.

  • k l m on January 26, 2012 10:24 AM:

    Welcome. No pressure...we have the best of all possible worlds, Steve is still around just a click away and we have a new voice to add to the mix! (and Steve said 'no hazing', so we'll be good!)

  • Death Panel Truck on January 26, 2012 10:24 AM:

    So the daily "Campaign Roundup" and "This Week In God" are no more. The two features that kept bringing me back.

  • Percysowner on January 26, 2012 10:29 AM:

    Welcome. This is one of my go to places and it's good to have you manning the ship. One of the most unfortunate things to happen was for PA to decide that Joe Lieberman needed to have his ego boosted and vote him back into the Senate after he lost the Democratic primary. Now we're stuck with him.

  • CRA on January 26, 2012 10:44 AM:

    "After college and a major in an interdisciplinary humanities program we called the 'pre-unemployment curriculum,'"

    Welcome from another humanities BA! It's an unequivocally good thing to have, now that it's not the only thing on our resumes, Ed.

  • You Don't Say on January 26, 2012 10:45 AM:

    My thought was Geez, he's gotta be my age, yay!

    Looking forward to reading your work.

  • Mustang Bobby on January 26, 2012 10:49 AM:

    Good to have you here, Ed.

  • docdave on January 26, 2012 10:54 AM:

    Glad to have you on board, Ed. And if you're a little older than the average blogger, it shouldn't matter here--judging from most comment threads, the majority of the readers (excluding myself) show a bit more maturity than one sees on average. Mature, yes--but not complacent.

  • warehousemanalive on January 26, 2012 11:03 AM:

    From one old white guy to another - welcome aboard!

  • Athena on January 26, 2012 11:33 AM:

    Welcome, Ed. Ignore the carping. We're an opinionated, cantankerous bunch (sign of age?). I'm looking forward to what you have to say.

  • Bill D. on January 26, 2012 11:37 AM:

    Welcome, Ed, and glad to have you here. I've long admired your writing elsewhere, and having your insightful commentary here is greatly appreciated.

  • debbyeOh on January 26, 2012 11:42 AM:

    Welcome aboard Ed! Enjoyed your bio. Looks like I'll continue to be as frequent reader as always, and will continue lurk more than post.

  • DavidNOE on January 26, 2012 11:43 AM:

    Hey, you're not that old - I hit the 3/4 century mark last month, and I'm not old! And am another white guy who grew up in the south (for the most part), and have always been and still am a progressive. I enjoyed your fill-in for Steve back in December and look forward to your posts in the future, though I'll still miss Steve.

  • SBcardinal on January 26, 2012 11:51 AM:

    Ed, I was happy to see you are taking Steve's place, as I enjoyed your time in December. I don't often comment, but I check in multiple times per day. I look forward to being your silent groupie as well as Steve's!

  • danimal on January 26, 2012 12:17 PM:

    Welcome, Ed. I really appreciate your work at TDS and I think most of the commenters will appreciate your perspective and forgive the DLC connections...

    Also, good music references are always a plus. The crap they play these days...and so loud! Get off my lawn.

  • Bj Smith on January 26, 2012 12:19 PM:

    A very warm welcome Ed, as you can readily see you will never lack for readers, your already a hit.We will all miss Steve, but looking forward to checking out Political Animal first thing each day, my favorite blog by far. Another plus is thoughtful commenters, not the food fights of so many blogs these days. Once again , welcome.

  • DLWStoryteller on January 26, 2012 12:39 PM:

    I have been reading the Washington Monthly for about six years. I was upset when Steve Benen started and have grown to love reading his work. I am now upset that he is gone, but at least he is writing for my favorite television pundit. Welcome, Ed, to the Washington Monthly. I look forward to your insight and getting to know how you distill politics for those of us hungry for both information and analysis.

  • Andy Olsen on January 26, 2012 12:40 PM:

    Well, I for one am sorry to see Steve Benen go. I liked his work, his measured but voluminous words and his integrity.

    From what I know (or remember, I am also a 50-something hosed by Lieberman) of Ed Kilgore is pretty much on the positive side.

    Then there is that whole DLC thing. Well. The DLC is a very destructive and failed institution, prizing themselves on the circular firing squad and, most importantly, driving out the left (a.k.a. "DFHs) from the Dem Party. Pretty much my entire adult life the Dem Party has drifted to the right and the DLC has towed it there.

    Not content to compete or coexist, the DLC (Al From esp) bashed progressive leaders and solutions and demanded capitulation to the right wing ideology, rhetoric and policies. They would abhor criticizing Wall Street

    PPI did some good policy work and I was often surprised when looking in depth. But, damn it, then the DLC would come out demanding some latest surrender of previous gains. And what happened at the ballot box? The DLC politics were disaster. (And, please, tell Harold Ford to STFU already).

    So I will give Mr Kilgore a chance but not the DLC. We cannot afford that any more.


  • t case on January 26, 2012 12:43 PM:

    You have to be at least 50 to be a real punk. You have to have lived with what music was before punk came along and changed everything in the '70's. Otherwise you have no context to truly appreciate what a big deal it was - and still is.

  • Altoon on January 26, 2012 1:01 PM:

    Welcome Ed! from your first half day on the job I can tell you are the best of replacements for Steve. I'm loving your posts.

  • Rita on January 26, 2012 1:31 PM:

    Welcome, Ed! Looking forward to your posts.

  • Linkmeister on January 26, 2012 2:05 PM:

    As a 61-year-old blogger myself, I don't think you're too old, Ed. ;)

  • Grammy Pat on January 26, 2012 2:16 PM:

    Welcome, Ed, from another Georgia expatriate (Jersey girl by choice for many years.) Wondering exactly what town you are from, looks like you're not going to say. I myself hail from the place on the Chattahoochee where young Newt Gingrich seduced (or was seduced by?) his geometry teacher, who became wife #1. That's something I didn't know until just recently. IMHO the town has produced many whackos, including some I'm unfortunately related to, but he takes the cake. Good luck with the blog. I followed Steve Benen here from his guest stints at Salon, what a great blogger, but nice now to have one in my own age group.

  • Hannah on January 26, 2012 2:27 PM:

    Welcome, Ed! I, too, will miss Steve (followed him here from his Carpetbagger blog) but am excited for his new gig and will follow him at maddowblog.

    Anyway, you had me chuckling throughout most of your bio, also your column on Newt and the space program (doesn't his head sort of resemble the moon? It's about as big anyway). As a 50+ (more like 60-) person myself, I'm very happy to read someone of my generation, especially one with your vast experience and who writes with wit and great turn of phrase.

    Looking forward to your daily posts,

    Out on the West Coast,
    Hannah

  • Trent on January 26, 2012 2:29 PM:

    Ed-
    Delighted to see you stepping into this post. I won't have to take Political Animal off of my RSS feed now, and I would have if Steve's replacement hadn't been top quality.

    I've been enjoying your political insight and analysis on the web for years--through most of the Bush disaster, in fact--and look forward to a daily dose, now.

    Get to work!

  • scott_m on January 26, 2012 2:35 PM:

    I've read your stuff for years here and there and look forward to reading it here for years to come.

    Ed Kilgore is not Steve Benen is not Kevin Drum. When it comes to insights into politics and policy, though, all three of y'all are DUDES.

  • Suzanne on January 26, 2012 3:13 PM:

    I had every expectation that the person following Kevin Drum and Steve Benen would bring a unique perspective that I would enjoy. I appreciate your boots-on-the-ground perspective of politics and government at many levels. That type of historical experience is invaluable now that we are in a period of change and transformation of society, climate, economics and politics. I'm looking for analysis -- that's good news to me and I look forward to reading more. Welcome, Ed!

  • JoyousMN on January 26, 2012 3:36 PM:

    Welcome Ed. I've been reading your bogging contributions from most of the places you mentioned. I think you'll bring a good voice here.

    As a 50's person myself, I will tell you that as much as I hated JoeLie(s) before the healthcare debate, I LOATHE him for killing the Medicare buy-in. My husband and I pay $1200 a month for our health insurance and it's sending us into foreclosure on our house. That one thing would have been hugely beneficial for us, and for many, many others. It would have been so beneficial that I'm pretty sure he sabotaged it on purpose for the GOP.

    Anyway, glad to have you here as a regular voice.

  • sduffys on January 26, 2012 3:48 PM:

    Welcome, welcome, a thousand times welcome!

  • MNRD on January 26, 2012 4:06 PM:

    Welcome, Ed. Like everyone else I'll miss Steve a lot, but I'm very happy to have you here with us.

  • westomoon on January 26, 2012 4:24 PM:

    The DLC, eh? I sure hope you've grown beyond that. The country is not "center-right". What lifts all boats is a rising tide, not a fat & happy 1%. It's not your age that's making me nervous, Ed.

  • buddy66 on January 26, 2012 4:47 PM:

    "Old"? You're old? My first vote was for Adlai Stevenson and my first petition signature was "Clemency For The Rosenbergs.'' There are a lot of old hands on the Good Ship WM, Cap'n, so welcome aboard!

  • exlibra on January 26, 2012 5:12 PM:

    Welcome, Ed. Good to see -- though I suspected it already, on the basis of your posts in Dec -- that Steve's blog being handed off to someone who *also* has a sense of humour; people who lack it usually lack a sense of perspective, too.

    "verbse beareth"??? Surely, not you? Either Craptcha is off its feed and its usual omniscience, or else I'm reading its entrails wrong.

  • KJ on January 26, 2012 7:17 PM:

    Welcome aboard.

    There will be fewer posts to the daily content.

    I am glad you were the choice to replace Steve; I liked your content as a fill-in.

    And it seems I am not the only regular reader with aging knees- the rest of me is not nearly ready to catch up.

  • Miffy on January 26, 2012 8:19 PM:

    Your fans in Georgia are looking forward to reading more of your posts daily!


  • Anonymous on January 26, 2012 9:04 PM:

    Welcome,Ed. So far so good. I was offline yesterday but have caught up, and I'm happy with what I'm seeing. I'm glad to be able to keep Political Animal as my first read.

    P.S. Let me also say how much I loathe Captcha.

  • Aaron on January 27, 2012 3:55 PM:

    Ed, Like many of your fans, I read your writing routinely regardless of origin. It sounds like your new home is a great one. I look forward to following you here.