No, Don’t Freak Out

I had to laugh out loud at the headline of Paul’s post announcing my imminent departure from PA. And he’s right: his immediate reaction when I told him I just couldn’t turn down the offer from New York was to emit a single, staccato obscenity. But within seconds, he was being predictably gracious and generous, just as he has always been to me.

And he’s also right that there’s no reason to freak out about changes here. I’m privy to some of the plans being made for a new PA content team and a major site redesign, and I think you’ll be pleased at how it all comes out. When Brother Benen left, it was easy to follow him out the door because he took his entire act with him, features and all. That won’t be the case with me; I’ll be doing longer pieces less frequently (three or four times a day, which doesn’t sound too bad for someone with an extreme 12-post habit, does it?), and I’m reasonably sure I will not be called upon to post music videos. So you really ought to stick around here at PA and enjoy the new scenery.

Speaking of Benen, it hit me when I was considering the new gig that my tenure at PA–nearly four years–was actually longer than Steve’s. So it’s not like I’m cutting and running, as us liberals tend to do, doncha know.

As for the new gig, what makes me happiest is that I did nothing to solicit it. The interest in me came out of the blue, from people I did not know, who happened to like my writing. That’s a good feeling.

One of the best things that’s happened at PA the last year has been the emergence of Nancy LeTourneau, who will be writing the lion’s share of daily PA posts, with some help from Martin Longman, who “discovered” her for us. Beyond that, Paul Glastris really is working the vast WaMo alumni network for an all-star cast of occasional contributors. And I think you will see a shift in tone and function from a news-cycle blog to something a bit more reflective and perhaps more policy-oriented.

So hang with PA and give management some time to fully implement the new plan. You won’t regret it.

I am going to miss WaMo–the (yes it’s a cliche, but yes it is true) family atmosphere of the small but intensely loyal staff, the remarkably well-informed readership, the people who tirelessly spot my all-too-many typos and broken links, the commenters who have become like old friends.

But enough of sentimentality. I’ll keep on keeping on this last week, and maybe do some fun posts or blasts from the past. I’ve just come back from an insane round of funeral-related travel (five airports and four airlines in 48 hours) with enough physical ailments to take down an army, so I may sound a bit medicated. But we’ll give good value for your time here at PA, now and in the future.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.