HAPPY TO BE HERE….Hi, I’m Troy McClure Steve Benen. You may remember me from such blogs as The Carpetbagger Report, Salon.com’s Blog Report, Crooks & Liars, and Talking Points Memo.

I couldn’t be more excited about the chance to take over for Kevin Drum — I was going to say, “replace,” but we know Kevin is irreplaceable — here at Political Animal. Not only have I been a loyal subscriber to the Washington Monthly for years, but Kevin is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place in early 2003. My most sincere thanks to Paul Glastris and the rest of the team for this opportunity.

My posting schedule is going to be a bit different from Kevin’s, by virtue of the fact that I’m on the east coast and like to get started bright and early. And I should also mention that I’m bringing along my commenters from The Carpetbagger Report. They’re a spirited bunch, but I’m confident the two sets of regulars will get along just fine.

It’s truly an honor to be here, and by the looks of things, I’m getting started at a very exciting time in the political world. Thanks for the warm welcome.

And now, back to the news….

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.