Ben Smith Blog

Political News and Analysis


I thought for a time I’d never write this item: That I’d literally keel over in front of my keyboard in a couple of decades, and leave behind a post with even more typos than usual.

Instead, this is my last blog item. You’ll still find my columns every week over on the front page of POLITICO. But I wanted to say thanks before handing over the keys.

I’d like to thank, in particular, my regular readers and correspondents, dozens of whom I’d call friends, and some of whom I’ve been in an email correspondence with since 2005. Many favorite items are the ones emailed in by perceptive or well-placed readers, and I hope my respect for that highest common denominator of news junkies has been clear. I feel like I actually know my audience, a rare luxury in this business, though something that’s become increasingly possible.

I’m also thrilled to maintain my relationship with POLITICO, where I’ve had the incredible privilege of working for bosses – Jim VandeHei, John Harris, and Bill Nichols – who’ve always had something to teach me not just about the craft of reporting but the substance of politics and policy. They’ve also been remarkably open to the changing medium, willing to give me enough virtual rope to hang myself on this blog many times over.

I have too many great colleagues and editors to list, but want to mention three. I’ve had the best reporting partnership of my career here, with Jonathan Martin, a truly great and devoted reporter who couldn’t imagine how I – or anyone – would give up one of the truly great political reporting jobs. And this really became a dream job when POLITICO hired two of my closest and smartest friends in the profession, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, out of our old shared basement office in New York City Hall.

Along with my POLITICO column, I’ll be striking out into some new online space at BuzzFeed starting January 1, but this blog isn’t going away. I’ve followed my interests in recent months toward a beat that focuses on the intersection of politics and media, and the dangerous and talented Dylan Byers – who has been on fire since he started here this Fall — will continue to to explore and expand that conversation. Please treat him with all the copious respect and deference I always got.

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