The PackerGeeks are excited to announce the arrival of our first “Guest Blogger,” Jim VandeHei, who will join our discussion whenever he can over the course of the next week. We will be doing “Guest Blogger” weeks periodically over the course of the season, adding some interesting and provocative voices to the site.
Jim is a native of Oshkosh and current executive editor of Politico — a relatively new publication that has quickly become one of the most important sources for unbiased, insightful political journalism in America. This year, he served as a moderator for one of the first Republican presidential debate. That’s a pretty big deal.
Jim and I got to know each other on a trip to Poland traveling with Vice President Dick Cheney. We started talking about the Packers on the flight over on AF2 and continued, if memory serves, over several Zywiec beers until about 4am at a smoky casino in the Novotel Bronowice on the outskirts of Krakow, Poland. (The bag call two hours later was, well, difficult.)
I started to write up a more elaborate bio and then, after reading the last paragraph, decided I’d just post the one that I found on the Politico website. The highlight: “On a personal level, Jim is more Wisconsin than Washington. Think fishing, family, beer and the Green Bay Packers.”
Here is the whole thing:
Jim VandeHei, 36, is one of the co-founders of Politico. He left The Washington Post, where he was national political reporter, to join forces with John F. Harris (his former boss at the Post) and the finest collection of journalists around to attempt to create a new and exciting way of delivering political news. He serves as the executive editor. (Please note that Harris took the best office and the best title, so all complaints should be directed to his attention).
Jim proudly hails from Oshkosh, Wis., where he was born and raised and attended college (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh). He was hooked on journalism after covering sports for his hometown newspaper and running the Brillion News, a Wisconsin weekly, in the summer of 1993.
After graduating from college, Jim packed up his car and headed to Washington, D.C., on Valentine’s Day 1995. After a short stint with a leaflet publication called New Fuels Report, he got his start in political journalism at the now-defunct Inside the New Congress, working alongside John Bresnahan (now the congressional bureau chief for Politico) and Charlie Mitchell (now a top editor at Roll Call newspaper).
Jim soon moved to Roll Call, where he covered the new GOP majority. His next stop was The Wall Street Journal, where he covered Congress and the White House. Finally, he landed at The Washington Post in 2002, where he covered Congress, the 2004 campaign, the White House and, ultimately, politics.
On a personal level, Jim is more Wisconsin than Washington. Think fishing, family, beer and the Green Bay Packers. Jim adores his wife, Autumn VandeHei, and their two kids, Sophie (4) and James (2), are pretty great, too. They live in Falls Church, Va.
Jim is free to write what he wants, when he wants. And he’s also encouraged to pick a fight with me or tell Andy he’s on crack.