If there is a journalist who knows more than Michael Barone about American politics, I don’t know who he or she is. Election night, Barone is the man we rely on when only eighteen votes are in from some obscure county in Northern South Dakota and they completely conflict with the fifteen votes in from an even more obscure county in Southern North Dakota to make sense of it all. He also has the ability to make sense of the larger picture of our national life as few others. Next time you have a three or four hour plane ride, take along a copy of Hard America, Soft America and you’ll see what I mean.
Now as many of you know – and I have noted before – Mr. Barone also blogs. But even though he does, and even though he and I have friendly personal relations, I was absolutely thrilled when Michael told me he would be pleased to serve on the PJ Editorial Board. I dropped everything else and immediately pinged my colleagues Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stewart. “Guess who we’ve got?” I said. “Now we’re legitimate!”