I’m smart enough to know I’m not smart enough. That’s why I listen so intently to the people who have walked down the road before me. When my son was born six months ago, plenty of people said “Take the time to enjoy it because it will fly by before you know it.” I’m smart enough to follow that advice so on July first I’ll be taking a two-month leave of absence to get to know my son better.
The last year has been hectic, chaotic, exhilarating and fun. I tracked our governor as he tried to become a vice-presidential candidate, covered two national conventions, a running mate announcement in Dayton, OH (that did not include Pawlenty but an Alaska governor that I’m told prompted GOP staffers scrambling to wikipedia), a U.S. Senate race, asked questions of the two major party presidential candidates, covered the U.S. Senate race recount, helped a bit with the a legal challenge to the recount, reported on the 2009 legislative session and an announcement that Pawlenty won’t seek a third term. Pawlenty’s announcement set off speculation that he’s running for president in 2012 and made the wide-open race for governor even more wide open.
Over that time, I promised my wife that things would get quieter when the election was over. I promised her things would get quieter when the recount was over. I promised her things would get quiet when the session was over. I promised her that the GOP State Central Committee was important because I’ll get a good idea of who’s running for governor. Colleen is the most patient person I have ever met. I know she would smile and probably say “It’s your job, Tom, I understand,” if I kept making promises.
But the kicker is that it really doesn’t slow down in our business. There’s always another story to do, another person to interview or another source to have coffee with. When Owen was born, I decided to step off the roller coaster for a break.
From July first through September 8th, I’m going to try my hardest to stay away from political news. I don’t intend to blog, to tweet or to contact sources. Instead, I intend to change diapers, go on stroller rides and tell the lil’ man I love him. I also intend to read the sports page to Owen, introduce him to museums and sports and, most importantly, read “Good night, gorilla” to him.
The blog will still be active with content from MPR’s fine political team. Tim Pugmire has agreed to do the Daily Digest in my absence. He’s going to do a great job but give him a break if he misses a story or blog post. It’s extremely difficult and time consuming to do and I’m happy he’ll be doing it (instead of me) for a few months.
We have also set up a new twitter account, @mprpolitics, so you can continue to get timely tweets and political news. It will include content from Pugmire, Mike Mulcahy and others.
I know part of me will itch to get back in the game but it’s time to focus on Owen on July first.
Now if we can only get that Senate ruling before Wednesday…