The Post this morning broke the in-house news that celebrated National Review reporter Robert Costa will join the paper’s politics team on Jan. 6. A memo from three Post editors on the hiring observes, “Bob has become an absolute must-follow for his coverage of Republicans, particularly after his stellar runs during this year’s government shutdown, the fiscal cliff negotiations and the 2012 presidential campaign. He is a believer in journalism new and old — he shares what he knows when he knows it, whether in a tweet, blog post or longer form. We look forward to all of the above — and more.”
In a brief chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, Post senior politics editor Steven Ginsberg said the paper had been in discussions with Costa for a “few weeks” but declined to comment in any detail on the negotiations. As far as Costa’s role at The Post, Ginsberg said he’d be covering the Republican Party. Of late, that has meant a lot of reporting from Capitol Hill. “My view is that he does great work covering the Republican Party. He’ll follow that story wherever it leads him . . . He’ll cover it in every way — on Twitter, on blogs, stories and bigger pieces,” Ginsberg said.
Though Ginsberg said he’s watched and appreciated Costa’s work for some time, this hire appears to have been prompted by Costa’s immersive reporting on October’s fight over the government shutdown and the debt limit. His postings dug into the intra-GOP disputes over how to approach the White House and congressional Democrats on key sticking points. That stuff will continue, said Ginsberg: “We’re not looking to change the way he covers politics. He has put forward a new model on how to dominate a beat. We’re not looking to change that.”
Neither Costa nor National Review Editor Rich Lowry responded right away to requests for comment.
Costa’s hiring is a sunny development here at The Post, signaling that under the new ownership of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos the newspaper will fight for key reporting talent. In mid-October, the paper announced the hiring of Associated Press investigative reporter Adam Goldman. When asked whether the decision to hire Costa bubbled up to the ownership level, Ginsberg referred the question to Executive Editor Martin Baron, who said it did not. Ginsberg did say this, however: “If you’re asking would I have pursued it before Bezos, absolutely.”
The Post memo:
We are very pleased to announce that Robert Costa, one of the country’s best chroniclers of the Republican Party, will join The Washington Post as a National political reporter.
New York magazine, which called Bob the “golden boy of the government shutdown,” wrote this about him last month: “[H]is reporting from behind the closed doors of Republicans in Congress held up as indispensable, a shining beacon of the form in which a man tirelessly asks questions and prints answers without fluff or bluster.” In other words, our kind of guy.
Bob comes to us from National Review, where he has been Washington Editor, directing a team of reporters and leading its Capitol Hill bureau. Before National Review, he was a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal. Bob has appeared frequently as a political analyst for CNBC.
Bob is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s degree in politics from the University of Cambridge, where he was an active member of the Cambridge Union debating society.
His first day will be Jan. 6. Please join us in welcoming him to The Post.
Cameron Anne Steven