Monday, November 22, 2010

Farewell to MPW: This Time for Real

Yes, I know I’ve told you this before, but now it’s for real: I am leaving Maryland Politics Watch.

The last time I quit, I had just turned 40 and my son had just turned 1. I had figured out that the demands of the blog had grown too gigantic to allow me to work in a full-time job and to be a full-time Dad. Then I quit my job. Who wants to travel all over North America half the time when your kid is just starting to say “Da-da” regularly? At that point, there were just five weeks left in primary season and I decided to blog the hell out of the elections. And what a primary it was! Who can forget Saqib and the Seven Dwarfs, the Nuke or the Holocaust Mailer? This was one of the most remarkable political summers in MoCo history, and you and I had a front row seat. I was happy to provide the theater space.

But now it’s time to get back to reality, and that includes employment. I am going to be incoming Council Member Hans Riemer’s Chief of Staff. Hans and I have been friends for years and we agree on the issues, but there’s more to it than that. Hans is part of the next generation of county leadership, which also includes Craig Rice, many of our state legislators, the Young Guns and a new group of civic activists. I know most of them and I have great confidence in their ability to take our county and our state to a better place. I’d like to do my part to help. Hans is one of the best of them, so working for him is a can’t-miss opportunity.

Hans and a supporter (guess who?) in 2006.

That said, there is no way – NO WAY – I can be both a legislative staffer and a political blogger. It could never work and we all know that. That’s why this time my departure is for real.

I’ve left a going–away present for you: a treasure trove of campaign material from our county’s political history. These are the men and women who have made MoCo and Maryland what they are. Their stories are worth remembering, both to emulate their successes and to avoid their mistakes. Besides, where else can you find stuff like SchaeferMania?

That’s about it for me, folks. Now there is a silver lining in all of this. The next time the snow plow doesn’t come, the trash is not picked up, a pothole is not fixed or a sidewalk is cracked, you can blame me for it! Won’t that be fun?

Thanks, everybody.