The day after Christmas 2007, I caught a flight from Washington, D.C., to the Midwest, and made my way through the snow to watch Hillary Clinton address a crowd in a packed high school gym in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. And thus began my career at Salon, and my close-up view of an astounding presidential campaign. The primaries alone took me from Salt Lake City to San Juan. (I even got to watch Barack Obama bowl, badly.) Once that was done, the general election managed to match the primaries for excitement, innovative campaign techniques and unusual venues. Not to mention plenty of chances to write about Sarah Palin.
Yes, I spent the historic 2008 Election Night at a golf resort in Phoenix and missed the parties in the street back home in D.C. But that’s alright — once Barack Obama had won, there was more news to come. I met Orly Taitz, and saw the first signs of stress appear in the relationship between progressives and the incoming White House. The new administration got moving quickly, and the conservatives were already starting to get a little freaked out (not least because the Republican Party was suddenly in the hands of Michael Steele). Between Tea Partiers and the endless healthcare reform debate, 2009 flew by. And suddenly, another campaign is in full swing.
But this time, I won’t be around to chronicle the rest of it on Salon. Today is my last day here; in two weeks, I start a new job as managing editor of Washington City Paper, an alt-weekly I’ve been reading for 20 years. As you may have gathered if you read any of the various posts and stories about D.C. voting rights that Salon’s editors indulged my desire to write, I consider myself a bit of a D.C. nationalist — my dad’s family has lived here for three generations, and I grew up in the area and have been back for a decade now. So the chance to help shape coverage of the city and region I’m so proud to call home was irresistible. (Besides, if I wasn’t leaving voluntarily, I’d probably manage to get myself fired over the next couple of weeks for ducking out of work too often to watch the World Cup.) At least in this new job, I should be safe from Andrew Breitbart’s rage.
It’s been a thrill, and a privilege, to write about these last few crazy years in national politics and government here. My colleagues at Salon are smart, funny, creative and supportive, and working with them has been a blast every day. And you, our readers, always keep the staff on our toes, sending complaints, ideas and — occasionally — compliments over the transom on just about every story. I’m happy to be joining you again as a consumer of Salon’s brilliant writing, just as I was when the site first started (though, fortunately, I no longer need to depend on a 14.4k modem to do it).
So thanks for letting me be your guide through the last two-and-a-half years of politics. (You can still keep track of me on Twitter if you feel the urge, and of course, I hope you’ll check out what we’re doing at City Paper, even if you don’t live near the District.) And for now, so long.