Political Animal


January 25, 2012 5:35 PM And that’s a wrap

By Steve Benen

I suspect most readers saw the news yesterday, but just in case, this is my very last post here at the Washington Monthly. I’ll start my new gig at MSNBC on Monday, Jan. 30. (I’ll be traveling on Thursday and Friday, so no blogging for me.)

I am thrilled to be passing the torch to one of my very favorite writers. I may be leaving Political Animal, but it’s important to me to leave it in capable hands, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen: as Paul Glastris explained earlier, Ed Kilgore will get started here tomorrow. Ed is one of the best in the business, and I can only hope he enjoys writing for the Monthly as much as I have.

I tend not to talk too much about myself on the blog, but I hope readers will indulge me for a moment. I ran my own site from 2003 to 2008, and dreamed that I’d get picked up by a news outlet I enjoy and respect, so I could get paid to do what I love. The Washington Monthly gave me that opportunity three-and-a-half years ago, and for that, the editors, publishers, and the rest of the team here have my endless gratitude.

I meant what I said yesterday: I wasn’t prepared to leave this job unless something truly special came along, and fortunately for me, something did. The chance to work for Rachel Maddow and MSNBC is a dream gig that I couldn’t be more excited about.

One last thing: the support I’ve received since the announcement — in the comments section, via email, through social media — has been extraordinary. Readers are probably accustomed to my long-winded rants, so I’ll just say this: I lack the words to tell you how much I appreciate the support and encouragement.

And with that, I’m off. Be nice to the new guy — no hazing, please — and I hope to see you all on Monday morning.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • Jeff In Ohio on January 25, 2012 5:39 PM:

    Me sad...Benen and coffee were how I broke many a day.

    I read a lot. You are one of the best political bloggers. Best of luck on cable. Don't have it, no idea.

  • hells littlest angel on January 25, 2012 5:40 PM:

    Thank you, Steve. For me, 8:00 AM will never be the same. You have done a terrific job. See you on MSNBC.

  • T2 on January 25, 2012 5:43 PM:

    Mr. Benen,
    thanks for the opportunity to post my comments on this site, with kindred spirits and very few trolls. I migrated here from The Leftcoaster when it got bitter, and found a nice home. Good luck in TV land.

  • Linkmeister on January 25, 2012 5:43 PM:

    Best of luck! I've already added The Maddow Blog to my blogroll.

  • RD Padouk on January 25, 2012 5:44 PM:

    That'll do, Steve. That'll do.

  • AK Liberal on January 25, 2012 5:44 PM:

    Steve, thanks for everything and I wish you the best at your new job. But, echoing HLA, my mornings won't be the same!

  • Jeff Pierce on January 25, 2012 5:45 PM:

    Thanks for all of your thoughtful political analysis over the years, and for keeping my spirits up when the political landscape looked bleak. I became one of your avid readers in about 2004, and have kept up with you ever since. I'm sorry to see you leave Political Animal, but I shall be tuning in to see what you can do with Rachel Maddow. It sounds like a good gig!

    Best wishes,

  • schtick on January 25, 2012 5:46 PM:

    It doesn't seem that long since the Carpetbagger days, but I guess it is. You've done well and wrote more, every single day. Hey, you get vacation that you ARE going to use, right? I don't remember you having one the last few years.
    Enjoy, Steve. Congratulations and good luck. You've earned it.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on January 25, 2012 5:46 PM:

    I hadn't been around too long here, but it came to be that my day started with Steve's insight and skillful manner of expressing it.

    I feel a little silly, but I feel sad right now. Wishing Steve the best in his new role(s) and sure hope he has the energy to keep his blogging up to the quality he exhibited here.

    Thanks for your efforts.

  • JS on January 25, 2012 5:47 PM:

    I'm all set up to go at Maddow Blog, but will be pleased to give Ed my attention here as well.

    Travel safely.

  • kris sherman on January 25, 2012 5:47 PM:

    Congratulations, Steve. MSNBC is really hiring some smart people lately.

  • chopin on January 25, 2012 5:47 PM:

    Here's hoping Rachael puts you in front of viewers often and soon you have a show of your own. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  • Matthew B on January 25, 2012 5:48 PM:

    Over the last several years, occasionally friends have told me, not knowing better, "You know, you should have a blog." And every time, I've explained what a real professional blogger can do: write a half dozen substantial essays daily -- tied to the news of the moment, thoroughly informed, and packed with perfectly quotable aphorisms that fit beautifully in Facebook status updates -- and actually help shape the national conversation. Steve, you have raised the bar to an astonishingly high level, and truly made readers' lives better. Many thanks.

  • Jon on January 25, 2012 5:48 PM:

    Good luck, Steve. Give our love to Rachel. Welcome, Paul: let 'er rip!

  • AnotherStrayCat on January 25, 2012 5:48 PM:

    I almost never comment, but I've read you nearly every single day since you were doing the Carpetbagger Report. I'm not so sure how many words of yours I've read, but had I been similarly devoted to Russian Literature, I'm sure I would've worked my way through all of Tolstoy and most of Dostoyevsky by now. Best of luck, Steve.

  • kk on January 25, 2012 5:49 PM:

    Congratulations. I'll miss you here, but I plan to follow you to Rachel's place. You've been my go-to guy for the last 6 or so years - first at Carpetbagger Reports, then here. You have been both an innovator (your jobs charts have spread throughout the media, and your healthcare memo was, and I don't think I'm exaggerating, the catalyst to finally get a bill passed), and an anchor, providing a rational and fact-based reality check when some of us (OK, when I) flew off the handle about something.

    For years, I was unable to comment here because of some glitch with my work IP. Now that I can, you are leaving. Good luck and Godspeed. Rachel is fortunate to have you.


  • citizen_pain on January 25, 2012 5:50 PM:

    As I posted earlier, I've been reading you Steve since the early carpetbagger days. I personally think you are the best and most prolific blogger out there.

    I wish you the best in your next endeavor and know that you will fight the good fight for us. The truth is on our side, and we need people like you to get that truth out.

    And the answer will always be orange!

  • Dee Loralei on January 25, 2012 5:53 PM:

    Thanks for all the gazillion posts you've written over the years. I followed you over here from Carpetbagger and of course I'll follow you to Maddows Blog, I already watch her show daily. Looking forward to seeing more of you on the tv. I'll happily continue reading Ed Kilgore too. Thanks again for being the hardest working blogger out there!

    It occured to me yesterday that with you, Chris Hayes, Rachel and Melissa Harris Perry that MSNBC is like the place for geeky newsers! Please don't become part of the village!

    After the elction season, can you talk Rachel into doing the stupid crazy bracket for politicians, like we used to joke about with Zeitgeist?

    You're the best Steve, thanks!

  • pattyp on January 25, 2012 5:55 PM:


    I don't comment here often, but I have to today to let you know that Political Animal has been one of my few "go-to" blogs for the past couple years when I want to understand more about an issue. Your responses to current events are so timely, yet so well written, I really can't fathom how you're able to post something so fast yet so on the mark. Not to mention, you can write so that people like me, a consumer of political information but by no means an expert of any sort, can quickly and easily reach an understanding of the issue at hand, yet at the same time you don't oversimplify things. I hope that makes sense! I've learned a great deal from your writings and will miss them, but I have no doubt Ed Kilgore will carry on the tradition, as you did for Kevin Drum. Congratulations and best of luck with Rachel and MSNBC.

  • vermontdave on January 25, 2012 5:55 PM:

    Good luck, Steve. I look forward to seeing you in your spot with Rachel and co.

    I also look forward to reading Ed in weeks and months to come.

  • @rlux on January 25, 2012 5:56 PM:

    Longtime reader & lurker here, but thank you for all your hard work, Steve, and I look forward to seeing you on MSNBC!

  • Danp on January 25, 2012 5:57 PM:

    I've gone over to Maddowblog several times yesterday and today. Great real estate, but kind of a fixer upper. I hope you can convince them to put the focus on insightful analysis, and not just a few pithy sentences per post with a lot of links. I hope you get rich as well as brilliant. You deserve it.

  • Mary Chamberlayne on January 25, 2012 5:58 PM:

    As someone commented in the 200+ recently: PASS.THE.DAMN.HANKIE!! But I do have a question: Will you and Mrs. Carpetbagger be moving from Vermont to New York City? Or will you have to commute like Rachel does and only be back in Vt. on weekends? After following you for so many years I feel like I know you and I'm VERY SAD. I don't have teevee so I only see clips online. Good luck Steve!

  • Cybrguy on January 25, 2012 6:00 PM:

    Gonna miss you here, Steve, tho I suspect I will read you over at your new home. We think very much alike, so you were a great place for me to find out what was going on that "I" would think was important. You rarely failed to include info that would interest me and was traveling the blogasphere. I hope you continue to post what YOU find important, so that I can remain informed. I'm quite sure Rachel knows what she is getting...

  • pattyp on January 25, 2012 6:00 PM:

    I've also been meaning to tell you that your "I once caught a job this big" post from a couple weeks back made me laugh like hell. I don't know what it is about that title, but it still tickles me. And of course it was a great post too. :-)

  • petorado on January 25, 2012 6:01 PM:

    It seems like yesterday that I posted a comment as you were leaving The Carpetbagger Report (I still have fond memories of that place.) Good luck on the future and I hope they let you spread your wings as far as they can go.

    When you left TCR, following you was as easy as changing a bookmark. Now that you're off to cable, keep in mind that folks like you made television irrelevant for followers of political news. Make sure you open a conduit for your work to those who live in web-only households (besides the occasional blog post) so your fan club can still follow you in your new role.

    See you at the new place!

  • Paul F on January 25, 2012 6:01 PM:


    Congratulations on the new gig. I hope it goes well. You have done a fantastic job at Washington Monthly.

    All the best.

  • Pat on January 25, 2012 6:05 PM:

    A choice, not an echo.

  • deanarms on January 25, 2012 6:06 PM:

    Steve - it's been a pleasure. You have been the hardest working man on the blogosphere, edging out Aravosis by a hair. I'm sure you will carry on splendidly with Rachel, but you will be missed here. Thank you for your great work.

  • jdb on January 25, 2012 6:06 PM:

    Congratulations and good luck - this has been my only real go-to site for a long time, now. You did a great job.

  • buzz on January 25, 2012 6:07 PM:

    Don't let maddow give you any crap!

  • Ish on January 25, 2012 6:08 PM:


    Thanks for all your work here and best of luck at your next stop!

    (captcha code: idioto)

  • June on January 25, 2012 6:09 PM:

    Steve, finding your smart, reasoned analysis on the intertubes was one of the most pleasant surprises I've ever had. I have to admit, I'm verklempt over this - but also looking forward to your continued career at Maddow's blog, and to getting to know Ed. Best of everything, and congratulations!

  • Ron Byers on January 25, 2012 6:12 PM:

    A long time a go a character was introduced in a movie. The editor told one of his staff that he had selected a promising youngster because he was mild mannered, insightful, had a punchy prose style and was the fastest typist the editor had ever encountered. Steve, you are always calm and insightful, you have a wonderful, punchy prose style and you are without doubt the fastest typist I have ever encountered. You are our Superman, just like Clark Kent was Perry White's.

  • Cooper on January 25, 2012 6:14 PM:

    Congratulations and thanks for all the work you do!

  • TCinLA on January 25, 2012 6:15 PM:

    I remember the first time I saw a post by Kevin recommending Steve's blog, and I went over and read it and knew I had found "the next Josh" - this was in the days when TPM was one step up from a Blogger.com blog, but the quality was always there, just as it was with Steve. Nothing either of them have accomplished since has really surprised me, as a believer that Quality Will Out.

    Good luck Steve, it's nothing you don't deserve and I know you will shine at whatever Rachel sets you to doing.

  • Polar Bear Squares on January 25, 2012 6:16 PM:

    Good luck! Love your writing! I'll be looking forward to hearing from you on the Maddow Show!

  • square1 on January 25, 2012 6:17 PM:

    Steve, you are one of the most prolific writers in the history of political blotting. Best of luck at Maddow's place.

  • JustBeingPedantic on January 25, 2012 6:17 PM:

    Bon voyage! And thank you for your amazing work!

  • Scott B. on January 25, 2012 6:17 PM:


    Congrats and thanks -- your new opportunity is reassuring proof that capability still matters, even in the realm of politics. See you on the other side.

  • bdop4 on January 25, 2012 6:17 PM:

    Maddow Blog is on my Favorites, as is PA, which I will continue to frequent.

    I see this as a win-win, as Steve will bring his formidable analytical skills to another site, and leave a legacy here for others to emulate.

    This year may be the most important fight of our lives and we need to bring everyone we got to the table.

    Let's make history!!

  • Sparko on January 25, 2012 6:21 PM:

    Steve: could not be happier for you! I started with Kevin here, but you won me over with your hard work and peerless common sense and wit. I will follow you at the new blog and still watch Rachel every night. Except for lock up night--hoping you can talk them into your own show Friday thru Sunday. . .

  • Steve M. on January 25, 2012 6:23 PM:

    Ave atque vale....

  • Ladyhawke on January 25, 2012 6:24 PM:


    You have no idea how much I am going to miss you. It was like clockwork every morning that I would logon to your site and hit enter exactly at 8:00 a.m. There would always be a tasty morsel there for me to enjoy and start the day. And by the way, if there was no post at 8:00 a.m. I would immediately start worrying about you like a mother hen. There were a couple of times when you had computer problems because of bad weather. It was very stressful.

    I still marvel at how you were able to write so many thoughtful and informative posts all day. You are a treasure. Take care and I will definitely be following you at MSNBC. Thank you so much.

  • Hedda Peraz & DAY on January 25, 2012 6:24 PM:

    Cream rises.

  • tko on January 25, 2012 6:27 PM:

    Best of luck to you, Steve. I used the Carpetbagger Report and then your site here as my homepage for as long as I can remember and I'll miss your point of view.

  • Brenna on January 25, 2012 6:29 PM:

    I'll miss you over here, Steve. But we do expect some blogging. I have bookmarked your new site!

    Good luck, Steve!

  • waddanut on January 25, 2012 6:31 PM:

    Goodluck Steve. I hopeeverything works outgreat for you . Don't let the bright lights and the fame spoil you .

  • atlliberal on January 25, 2012 6:32 PM:


    Congrats on your new job! I'm happy for you, but you will be missed. I'll happily follow to Rachel's place. You are the best and have earned this promotion.

  • Anonymous on January 25, 2012 6:33 PM:

    My first favorite political blog was TPM and it still is in my top two. But once I started reading Steve I haven't been able to start the day without reading his spot comments of the political world nor have I been able to get through the day witout checking in with him 2 or 4 times. He is the best, no doubt, as he boils everything down to common sense and the truth. I hope that he has great success with Rachael, they will make a great team an I can't wait to see what comes from their new realtionship. Ed Kilgore is defenately a compitent replacement but they broke the mold that created Steve.

  • Raoul on January 25, 2012 6:43 PM:

    you were the best - I guess now back to Digby

  • MichMan on January 25, 2012 6:45 PM:

    Thanks for the ride Steve!

  • kindness on January 25, 2012 6:47 PM:

    Thanks Steve. You're a good man.

  • Altoon on January 25, 2012 6:55 PM:

    oh, will I miss you! Your posts are always smart and informative, at the top of my political blogs. Wishing you all the best in your new venture! and I'll check you out there for sure; I'm happy Ed Kilgore is taking over here.
    (oh, oh, what will I do without checking in on you every hour during election season...)

  • jsjiowa on January 25, 2012 6:55 PM:

    Congratulations on your new job -- much success and happiness to you! I've been sad since reading the news yesterday, as this has become my favorite blog to read, and I can't imagine it changing. I especially love that you always had fresh content on the weekends -- I will miss that so much! I will miss your insight and humor, and great writing. Hope you'll get a chance to blog at Rachel's place! (Oh, and can you convince MSNBC to get rid of the prison programs on weekend, and switch to political programs? They're making progress, but not fast enough!)

  • Oh my on January 25, 2012 6:56 PM:

    Of course I wish Steve the best of luck, but since this appears to be an end of an era I just wanted to express my sincere thanks to all the regular commenters here. You've kept Steve honest, added insightful commentary, and provided much needed comic relief. Thank-you and as the wind blows us here and there hopefully we'll all be meeting up again.

  • angler on January 25, 2012 7:14 PM:


    Congratulations. I've been reading your blog since the carpetbagger days. It's heartening to see good work get rewarded.

  • Skipjack on January 25, 2012 7:14 PM:

    I have to add my voice to those who have thanked you for your hard work, insight, and unflagging dedication. I have found this blog time and again to be the most ear to the ground about national politics, the fairest in illuminating what the truth behind the talking points really is, and the sharpest in shaping expectations about what is to come.

    I want to thank you too, one last time, for your Pass The Damn Bill campaign that rallied Democrats to get healthcare over the finish line. You have made a real mark in our history with that one.

    I started with Kevin Drum on this site and thought no one could replace him. I was very sad when I saw you are leaving but on your recommendation I will definitely stick around for the new guy, as well as follow you at MSNBC like I still read Kevin at Mother Jones. So I guess this isn't really so long, but more like congratulations and good luck.

  • ManOutOfTime on January 25, 2012 7:20 PM:

    I do believe I read every single post on Political Animal, going back the the artist formerly known as CalPundit. I still think of Steve Benen as the new guy here, so obviously time is flying. Ed Kilgore also gives good read of course -- so above all I guess I am happy to have a reason now to spend more time at the Maddow blog.

    Exciting times all around.

  • Curmudgeon on January 25, 2012 7:21 PM:

    I second all the good stuff that everyone has said, and will only add that you are and will always be the best in the business. Congratulations on the new gig, and the Maddow Blog has picked up yet another new reader! :)

    Thanks for all the memories, Steve.


  • Curmudgeon on January 25, 2012 7:22 PM:

    I second all the good stuff that everyone has said, and will only add that you are and will always be the best in the business. Congratulations on the new gig, and the Maddow Blog has picked up yet another new reader! :)

    Thanks for all the memories, Steve.


  • buddy66 on January 25, 2012 7:23 PM:

    Good luck, Steve. I've been with you since the day you took the baton from Drum. You're one of the best and you'll be working with one of the best. Serendipitous, indeed.

  • Chris on January 25, 2012 7:26 PM:

    Congratulations again Steve! I hope you're feeling the love, because that's exactly how we feel about you. You're a class act, and you deserve all the best.

    Good luck!

  • Cameron on January 25, 2012 7:37 PM:

    Congratulations, Steve. Sad to see you leave the Monthly, glad it's for such a great opportunity. Thanks for the yeoman's work you've done over the years. I still fondly remember encountering your work during the last presidential election; you were being quoted and linked so much from other bloggers and writers I enjoyed and respected, I had to come over to your space. It's been a pleasure ever since.

    Hats off and cheers to all your fine work.

  • jnfr on January 25, 2012 7:43 PM:

    You're fantastic! Can't wait to see your work for TRMS.

  • Bobfr (aka Our4thEstate) on January 25, 2012 7:46 PM:

    Congratulations Steve!

    Yes We Can ... DO More Together - We Must!

  • Michael W on January 25, 2012 7:50 PM:

    Part of me feels like I'm losing one of my best friends. I'm so happy for you, Steve. I thought something like this was in the works when you took that three-day respite. I'm just glad it was Maddow who snagged you, since she is another one of my favorites. I'll be following, of course, just like I followed you here from Carpetbagger, and I'll stick around for Ed, since I like his writing, too. He's got the quality, but can he keep up with the quantity? That is the question. My day isn't complete without a few Bennen posts.

  • Rita on January 25, 2012 7:51 PM:

    Will miss you here, Steve, but will still come by to visit Ed. Have added the Maddow blog to my "must visit" list of blogs, so I hope you will keep on writing there. Because, frankly, you made my day, everyday.

    Good luck!!

  • Richard on January 25, 2012 7:56 PM:

    Thank you very much for the past six years of news and political analysis. You have been a must read every day for awhile and I will miss your insight. However I would love to work with Rachael Maddow,so completely understand your decision.

    Congratulations and good luck!

  • Allan on January 25, 2012 7:58 PM:

    Bittersweet for me as I read your blog everyday Steve. All the best to you! I will be sure to check in at the Maddow blog.

    Congrats! You deserve it.

  • mgatton (@mgatton) on January 25, 2012 8:01 PM:

    Let me add to the list of well wishers who are sad to see you go - but I love Rachel too, so all the best to you and a great catch for msnbc.

  • jjm on January 25, 2012 8:03 PM:

    You are definitely the best! MSNBC is building an outstanding group, including now you, Ezra Klein, Chris Hayes -- not to mention Rachel.

    Good luck! And keep writing those great insightful blogs.

  • sapient on January 25, 2012 8:03 PM:

    Good luck, Steve! I'll be following wherever you go! (Yikes, I sound like a stalker.) I mean, I'll be watching Rachel, reading her blog, and reading Ed!

    Thank you for all of the comfort you have provided during this bleak time.

  • toro toro on January 25, 2012 8:04 PM:

    Hi Steve,

    Been following avidly since my searches for"Kevin drum blog" started taking me to the new occupant of Political Animal. For my money, you run the best political blog on the web; I'm amused and gladdened that you turn up #2 after facebook in the "most used bookmarks" on my phone...

    Brief anecdote: apropos of very little, a friend I hadn't seen in a while said to me in the pub about a year ago; "what was the name of that blog you forwarded, the Pass The Damn Bill guy? I still read that, it's excellent."

    That may be among the finest achievements in the history of the blogosphere, actually; you explicitly set out to be the anti-Kristol... *and succeeded*. The Big F*cking Deal likely wouldn't have got over the hill without your push, which every congressman and every legislative assistant in Washington, whether or not they admit it, certainly read that week.

    Thank You, Well Done, and Good Luck.


  • jeanne marie on January 25, 2012 8:05 PM:

    Add me (a daily lurker) to the list, too. You will be missed here.

  • kevo on January 25, 2012 8:13 PM:

    Now don't go all cable on us!

    I for one will migrate with you Mr. Benen, as I have done once before! Look forward to reading new turf, but will also hang out with Ed for a time to see what he sows! -Kevo

  • wkmaier on January 25, 2012 8:16 PM:

    Good luck Steve, read you almost every day during your tenure, even on vacation you were an "if there's WiFi, have to check out Steve Benen" site.

    Will keep reading here, and where you land.

  • Fred- Pennsylvania on January 25, 2012 8:17 PM:

    Best of luck Steve -

    Damn it, I've been following Steve since the Carpetbaggerreport.com days. I checked in with Steve's blogs several times a day every day for more than I can remember. I especially looked forward to the noon and 5:30 updates every day.

    Steve, you've educated and enlightened me daily!

    Warm Regards,

  • John on January 25, 2012 8:18 PM:

    Best wishes. Thank you so much for your thoughts and efforts.

  • devore on January 25, 2012 8:19 PM:

    Best of luck in your new gig. I was referred over to your site by P. Krugmann about a year ago and probably have visited every day since. It turned into the go to site for both news and expert insight. Something sorely lacking in the MSM. I'm sure you'll have your own shown soon.

  • Edward on January 25, 2012 8:21 PM:

    All the best to you Steve. You are one of the best and I'll be following you.

  • grape_crush on January 25, 2012 8:23 PM:

    Three and a half years. Wow.

    I remember Benen subbing for Drum on one occasion and my commenting that, if Drum ever moved on, Steve would be a good replacement.

    Turns out that you were better than I hoped for, Steve. I'm sorry to see you leave the WaMo, as I've enjoyed reading and passing along your posts for years...I'm hoping that MSNBC lets you work your magic on Maddowblog like you've done here, putting it in the 'go-to' category for me as well as for other readers.

    To echo others: thank you for your efforts over the years (including over at the Carpetbagger Report) and best wishes for the success of your new endeavor.

  • Tony J on January 25, 2012 8:34 PM:

    Along with everyone else, I thank you for the work you've already put in (damn prolific, and always worth reasing) and look forward to seeing you apply that same work ethic in your new job.

    You're one of the good guys, Benen. It's appreciated.

  • suekzoo on January 25, 2012 8:35 PM:


    When I made my year-end contribution to WaMo, I put a note in to give you a raise and a promotion. Little did I know.

    Best wishes, Steve. See you over at the other place.

  • Fred in Seattle on January 25, 2012 8:36 PM:

    Bon Voyage, Steve. I've enjoyed following you, and have a admiration for what you've done (and do) that can't be expressed. Good luck on Rachael's team.

  • Sister Artemis on January 25, 2012 8:50 PM:

    Thanks so much for all you've done here, Steve. I'm one of many here who tune in first thing (well, after email) every morning, and check back frequently through the day. You've lent clarity to more issues than I can list, and helped so many understand the landscape our government occupies.

    Your move is somehow fitting, for me - I first checked your site on Rachel Maddow's recommendation (she said she read it every morning, and that made me curious). So it seems natural you should be heading there. Looking forward to it!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Suzanne on January 25, 2012 8:52 PM:

    I've added The Maddow Blog to my favorites. Wishing you the best!

  • TuiMel on January 25, 2012 8:54 PM:

    Vaya con Rachel, Steve. Good luck and thanks for all the quality work from the CBR to now.


  • Liberal former republican on January 25, 2012 9:06 PM:

    Thanks for opening my eyes with informative, intelligent discourse. Have been an almost daily reader and rare commenter since the early Carpetbagger days. You got me through rough elections and provided the ammo to sway a few people. I'm thrilled for you personally and for the media and their viewers in general. Will bookmark your new blog. Thanks a million and all the best!

  • Jan on January 25, 2012 9:24 PM:

    Bon Voyage! As a long time, multiple times a day reader, I will miss your cogent, incisive and straight-to-the-heart of the matter analysis. You have kept me sane!!! I hope to see great things via Maddow from you!
    I used to read Ed Kilgore way back I think on the old gadflyer blog; he was great, but you are a very tough act to follow!

  • Jan on January 25, 2012 9:29 PM:

    P.S. Sigh, I do think I'll be going through withdrawal for a while, when I go to check your posts first thing in the morning to get a fix of sanity before even brushing my teeth, and you aren't here. I'll bookmark your blog and hope you post there often!

  • Neil B on January 25, 2012 9:29 PM:

    Have a good time at MSNBC, Steve. You were a capable blogger, very hard working, caught lots of angles. Sure, I rolled my eyes along with other readers at your cutesy "oh I wonder why" teasing style (like about Republican's malfeasance) but it's like seeing one of those character actors do his shtick. Good luck, we'll keep up with you.

    Craptcha strikes again with a telling last word:
    "teacher." Really (and so am I.)

  • Greytdog on January 25, 2012 9:33 PM:

    Thank you, Steve. Mozel tov!

  • Mike S on January 25, 2012 9:35 PM:

    Best in the business. Thanks for your great work, Steve. Hope you'll keep on keeping us posted from your new perch at Rachel's place.

  • kennyminot on January 25, 2012 9:40 PM:

    This sucks. I mean, it's good for you, but it's bad for me. Ever since you took over for Kevin Drum three years ago, I've been a regular reader of your blog. I got used to your continually snide comments about the contemporary Republican movement. And now . . . you're gone?

    Good luck with Rachel Maddow. Sounds like a great opportunity.

  • Jeanne Bedwell on January 25, 2012 9:44 PM:

    Wishing you the very best! I love your blogs and will continue to be a faithful reader.

  • jonas on January 25, 2012 9:46 PM:

    Man, it's like a good neighbor and friend moving away -- even if we never met. Good luck in the new gig and even though I don't really watch tv, now that I know you're behind the scenes at Maddow's show, I'll have to tune in more often.

  • Skip on January 25, 2012 10:03 PM:

    Thanks, Steve, for all you've done. And thanks to all the commenters who've posted here. It's been a great community here.

    Hope to see you all over at the next place...

  • Charles on January 25, 2012 10:11 PM:

    I've seldom posted but have been a constant reader of your work since 2004 (i.e. Carpetbagger days). Thank you so much for your consistently great work, and best of luck in the new job!

  • Barry on January 25, 2012 10:13 PM:

    Best wishes Steve. You have been a terrific source of information thru the years (I've followed you since CR and was your last letter writer at that site.) And I hope you realize the good you have done. You are a major reason that 40 million will have a chance for health insurance. Be proud.

  • Kim on January 25, 2012 10:31 PM:

    I've enjoyed your incredibly intelligent analyses since the Carpetbagger days. I've read your blog almost every day for the past several years. Thank-you for keeping me informed and helping me be a little smarter.

    Good luck and have fun working with Rachel Maddow!

  • Cha on January 25, 2012 10:33 PM:

    Wishing you all the success in the world Steve..and that also means that we'll have success, too! Thanks a billion for all the years of your blog.

    I like the way you write about the good news we have and even how you let us know what the sociopathic, pathelogical liars are up to.

    So is Political Animal still going to keep score on willard's lies? leroy's?

  • Josh on January 25, 2012 10:38 PM:


    I wish you the best of luck over at the Maddow show. You seem like a huge fan, it must be gratifying to finally give her a hand.

  • Patrick Star on January 25, 2012 10:50 PM:

    I started reading the Monthly blog when Kevin Drum was here. After he left, it was with some trepidation that I began to read posts from some guy I never heard of, some dude named Benen, or something like that. I was thinking, this guy probably couldn't hold Drum's jockstrap. Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong. I have been a diehard addict of this blog ever since. Not only the best political analysis, but the best commenters anywhere on the web. If I can survive the departure of Drum, I'm sure I can survive the departure of Steve. Good luck, Steve, thanks for being a beacon of sanity in an insane political world. Even "Al" will miss you!

  • No one of consequence on January 25, 2012 10:57 PM:

    Steve, I realized fairly early on that you occupied a distinct and respectful place among bloggers. You had a knack for tacking to the center while never ignoring or dishonoring the voices of the hard left. I will always respect that. Good luck in your new digs!

  • DJ on January 25, 2012 10:57 PM:

    Steve, I dutifully followed you from your blog to the Washington Monthly, and look forward to great things from you at MSNBC. While I'll miss reading your work, I eagerly anticipate listening to and seeing it. Congratulations!

  • tmb325 on January 25, 2012 10:59 PM:

    I started reading this blog 2 years ago, and it immediately became a daily staple - first thing to check in the morning, last in the evening. I enjoy it for the excellent writing, the in-depth analysis, and the lack of sarcasm & snark (well, some snark on rare occasions, but always well-done).

    You will be missed here.

  • PEA on January 25, 2012 11:07 PM:

    Others have pretty much covered the praise (is your head swelled yet? well it should be!) A few more points to add:

    Your insights and facts as well as the collected comments gave me the knowledge and courage to discuss politics with others.

    Your blog and the commenters have kept me sane in the face of daily outrageous, 'redicklious' GOP claims and shenanigans (no small feat).

    Your work fills a hole left by the major papers and so-called news on tv, cable & radio; they are so often short on facts and on the "why" of things. They never seem to ask serious questions!!!!

    Your blog is easy to skim for a quick overview of what I need to be aware of, and also offers more depth than repetitive, "entertaining" progressive cable and radio.

    There's no doubt more to say but I've had too much sake, so this will have to suffice for now.

    I'm addicted to your blog, but it could be worse. Please stay healthy and productive in 2012. God knows we need you. See ya Monday.