I am so proud to announce several additions to our team, which continues to grow along with our readership, which hit 8.7 million unique visitors last month.
Peter Wehner will be joining Politics Daily as a regular columnist, starring opposite David Corn and starting as soon as we can get his byline typed. Regular readers of these pages know David, who is Washington's Mother Jones bureau chief, to be a smart and authoritative – and independent – voice from the left. My conscious design in recruiting Pete is to give Politics Daily a bit more ballast on our starboard side. We will continue to offer the provocative musings of other conservative writers, including Matt Lewis in Washington and Elizabeth Lev in Rome. But it is my hope that all of our contributors will continue to defy easy pigeon-holing.
Pete is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he writes on political, domestic, national security, and religious/cultural issues. He served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan administrations, and in his most recent government stint as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and Director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives.
He is the kind of pleasant guy who doesn't mind if you accidentally-on-purpose channel Saturday Night Live and refer to his previous post as the office of "strategery." And he's as prolific as he is good natured; a regular contributor to Commentary magazine's blog Contentions and National Review Online; he also contributes to the NewYorkTimes.com and has written for Commentary magazine, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and many other outlets. He is co-authoring, (with fellow former Bush aide Michael J. Gerson, now a Washington Post columnist) a book on religion and politics, and a monograph (with Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute) on capitalism and morality.
The wonderful Annie Groer (of "two Annies" fame) who with Ann Gerhart co-wrote the "Reliable Source" column for the Washington Post, will also be joining PD (and PD's Emily Miller) as a gossip columnist. Here, in her own words is how Annie views her beat:
"Gossip -- especially about Washington's permanent political-diplo-social-media complex -- is information about others that they fervently hoped you'd never find out. Or overhear. Or stumble onto. Or be told by someone hellbent on getting even.(Psssst. A lover on the payroll. A DUI outside a topless club. A nasty feud with neighbors. An unfortunate shoplifting habit. Unpaid nanny taxes. The more egregious the hypocrisy, the better.) But stupid is ok, too. And funny is always good. Investigative gossip, which I practice, requires careful checking before publication. BOLDFACE NAMES fall into two groups: those dying to be mentioned in the column, even at some risk of mockery, and those who'd kill to be ignored. The latter often try to plea-bargain: Don't write X about me now, and in return, I'll spill everything about Y, who seduced my wife. I have made such deals. And will again, right now. I'll tell you what I know to be true, and you tell me what you know. We will have fun. Gossip's honor.''
Groer, a native Washingtonian, is perfectly suited to this pursuit, having learned a great deal about power, ambition, duplicity, kindness, humor, idealism, opportunism, boorishness and grace during two decades covering the White House, Capitol Hill, presidential and Congressional campaigns. At the Post, she co-wrote the dishy "Reliable Source" before sidling over to the Home Section to write about design, interiors, antiques, real estate porn and 21st-century manners. She writes for several national magazines, is currently at work on memoir, and recently realized she is not a recovering gossip after all.
Former longtime Cleveland Plain Dealer Washington bureau chief and columnist TomDiemer is coming aboard as an editor. He is also an editor and faculty lecturer at the Medill School of Journalism's Washington Program, and is the author of two books, the most recent being "Fighting the Unbeatable Foe,'' a biography of Howard Metzenbaum. Prior to joining the Plain Dealer, Diemer worked for the Associated Press and CBS News. He has written for Rolling Stone, Campaigns & Elections, and contributed to several newspaper food sections.
A couple of other notes to readers: Our intrepid military writer, David Wood, has put his plans to return to Afghanistan on hold temporarily, and is shipping out for Haiti tomorrow instead. Keep an eye out for his reports from the center of the heart-wrenching story unfolding in that brave and beleaguered country.
And those of you who can browse the web from your iPhone, BlackBerry, or other mobile device should be sure to check out the new www.politicsdaily.com mobile site. The streamlined interface provides quick, easy access to our latest articles. Keep the URL bookmarked for political news and analysis while you're out and about, and check back in a couple of weeks for the launch of the (long-awaited) Politics Daily iPhone application.
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