Morning all. Four months before retirement, the Thinking Right blog has the new look. It’s a tribute to the new president. This change is superficial; the look is different, but the core convictions (and the way we do business in Washington) aren’t changed in the least. The radicals stay radical; the conseratives stay conservative.
The launch here of the new look prompts an update on the search for a replacement. As you may have read, about 200 people expressed interest, most of them amply qualified by education and experience. That group was narrowed to about 60, then to about 25 and finally to 10.
Most aren’t trained as journalists. Before blogs, that would have concerned me — concerned me in the sense that there are some skills acquired in the process of writing news on deadline that are invaluable in writing opinion. Writing quickly on deadline is one of those. Learning where to go for information – reporting the story — is another.
Reading your comments and the blog postings of those with other career backgrounds and life experiences convinced me that the broader search, first suggested by Editor Julia Wallace, offered intriguing possibilities. And it has. Among the 10, a group that will likely be narrowed to 3-5 by the end of the week, are two experienced journalists and a writer for a weekly newspaper with less than one year in journalism. Four have law degrees. Three have or are approaching Ph.Ds. One is a young Army reservist. One has been active in politics. All have been successful already in their lives. (I know, the numbers add up to more than 10; the total is 10.)
Your feedback last week was enormously helpful. Those who took the time to assess the sample columns of the 10 offered comments that were serious and constructive. The group that will winnow the field down to 3-5 has access to and will be influenced by your observations.
I have been involved from the start and I can tell you now: If we don’t wind up with a good, solid conservative as a replacement, the fault is mine. I obviously will not be making the hiring decision, but I’ve shared the responsibility of advancing capable conservatives to the final pool and will be involved until my replacement is hired.
It’s been a good process and I’m excited about the pool. Change can be good.
Meanwhile, for the day, the floor is open. Offer commentary on the subject of your choosing. (But, of course, you do that every day anyway.)