When Stumper started a little over a year ago, I'd never covered a presidential campaign--or maintained a blog, for that matter. The thought of writing four or five times a day on a single subject seemed somewhat, well, daunting. Now, 13 months, 18 states, 21 debates, 1,672 posts, 35,416 comments and countless Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches later, it's the thought of not writing four of five times a day that's making me uneasy.
But alas: the stumping has ended, and so will Stumper.
It's been an incredible year--jamming with Mike Huckabee, pulling an allnighter with John Edwards, following Rudy Giuliani across South Florida, meeting John McCain in a tiny Iowa diner, sitting in section 139 of Mile High Stadium as Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination. But without you guys, the readers, it would've been pointless. So I'd like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude--for the tips, the ideas, the comments, the kudos and, most of all, the criticisms. I've striven to keep Stumper opinionated but impartial--"equal-opportunity skepticism," as I put it last October. If I've at all succeeded it's because you were always telling me when, in your view, I was wrong. From you, I heard every side of every story. Thanks for keeping me honest.
In the weeks and months ahead, I'll be returning to writing for the dead-tree magazine--about politics first and foremost, but also about crime, culture and (hopefully) food. More reporting, less punditry. I'll also be contributing to our (shhh!) forthcoming politics mega-blog alongside such NEWSWEEK luminaries as Holly Bailey, Richard Wolffe, Howard Fineman and Michael Isikoff. If Stumper withdrawal has you itching for a quicker fix, I'd heartily recommend "Powering Up," our new blog about President-elect Obama's ongoing transition process. I'll be popping in there from time to time as well. And I'm even considering posting the occasional column in this space. Stay tuned.
Thanks again for the best year of my life.