This is the place on the site where I answer those often asked questions: "Who do you think you are?" or "Just where do you get off…?"
You can get the official version of my bio here.
I'm the chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, where I've spent the last decade or so writing on national politics. You can access most of my work on the 2004 and 2008 campaigns and other topics here. I also write an occasional column called "Political Times" on the Times' Caucus blog.
I’m also the author of "The Argument: Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics," published by the Penguin Press, which is now in paperback. The book, which took me several years to report and write, is an inside account of the new progressive movement in America and an analysis of the state of Democratic politics in the years before Barack Obama. The New York Times named it one of the best books of 2007.
In 2006, I contributed a personal essay to an anthology called "I Married my Mother-in-Law and Other Tales of In-Laws We Can't Live With—and Can't Live Without." I recommend the anthology, and not just because I'm in it.
I grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, a nice little town just outside of Bridgeport, the city where both of my parents were born. Those who have ever driven through Bridgeport will understand how I came to care about politics and industrial decay. In fact, I've never lived more than a few miles from a housing project, which probably explains my skepticism toward both Darwinian social policy and the notion that expansive government can fix everything. I went to Tufts and Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, where the faculty generously awarded me the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.
Early in my career, just out of college, I was a speechwriter for what is now the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, where I wrote for the great Audrey Hepburn during her last years. (I’ve still never seen one of her movies, but she was a lovely person.) I started my journalism career at the Boston Globe, where I covered crime and breaking news, and then spent five years traveling the country as a national correspondent for Newsweek, which was a terrific opportunity. (I also did a disastrous little stint at Rolling Stone, which included no articles and a lot of weirdness, but I'm contractually prohibited from talking about that.) There are probably several states in the country from which I still haven’t reported, but I can't easily think of them.
When I’m not traveling, I live a life of domestic tranquility in Washington with my wife, Ellen, and our two small children, Ichiro and Allegra. For hobbies, I enjoy woodworking and mountain climbing. Actually, that's not true at all; I couldn't build a birdhouse, and, after a brutal game of touch football and a whole mess of knee surgery, I can barely climb a Jungle Gym. My main hobby, outside of reading history and fiction, is watching the Yankees. In this arena, at least, I am entirely partisan.