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Essex Junction's Political Animal

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Must-read Washington Monthly blogger Kevin Drum announced yesterday that he's leaving his Political Animal blog on Friday, to be replaced by... Steve Benen of Essex Junction.

Steve has been blogging at The Carpetbagger Report for the past five-and-a-half years, and he's built up quite a reputation. He's parlayed his personal blog into writing gigs with The Washington Monthly and blogging gigs at sites such as Crooks and Liars — while working from his Vermont home. He's become something of a high profile pundit, and was one of the lefty bloggers who met with former President Clinton a couple years ago. I always get excited when I see him linked on Andrew Sullivan's blog at Atlantic.

I profiled Steve in Seven Days in 2006, in an article called "Posting Truth to Power." He's a swell guy. Very smart and hard-working, but humble. A combination that is sadly in short supply.

Here's an excerpt from his announcement that he's quitting Carpetbagger:

Yes, five-and-a-half years and more than 16,000 posts later, I’m giving up The Carpetbagger Report to blog exclusively for the Washington Monthly. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.

For years, I had this idea in mind — start a site, work hard, build an audience, and wait for some wonderful news outlet to come along and hire me. Given this, and my love for the Washington Monthly (which I’ve been reading assiduously since I was an undergrad), I’m genuinely thrilled. Joining me at Political Animal will be Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings, who, as one of my very favorite bloggers, only makes the news even better.

Congrats, Steve! Good luck.

Photo by Matthew Thorsen. And thanks, Bill, for the tip!

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