As Steve indicated, I’ll be sitting in for him the next three days. I will try to avoid the temptation of filling space with year-end oracular speculation, but will predict with little fear of error that I will end this mini-gig with a renewed appreciation for Mr. Benen’s prodigious productivity on this site. Not that long ago, political writers who managed one daily piece of coherent reporting and analysis were considered models of industriousness. Matter of fact, I earned the nickname “Fast Eddie” for managing this sort of feat back in the day. So I take on blogging responsibilities at Political Animal with humility, not to mention anticipated fatigue (though to some extent that’s because I am now a Left Coaster writing well before dawn, after a Four Christmases sort of holiday sprint back home to Georgia).
I should probably mention I have some history with the Monthly. In 1988, when I first left my southern stomping grounds and traveled down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City for a job interview, I was asked by my prospective employer to define myself ideologically, and replied, to his total mystification: “I’m a Washington Monthly liberal.” Now that I’ve had multiple opportunities to write for this fine old publication, taking particular advantage of its atavistic devotion to political book reviews, I probably wouldn’t change that self-identification, strange as it may still seem to readers who think of the Monthly as a training ground and holding pen for a polyglot assortment of journalistic talent, or simply as the employer of America’s most tireless blogger. So I’m very happy to be here, and will try to keep Steve’s regulars entertained.