National Review had an incredible run in 2013. Robert Costa, who'd come to lead reporters in the D.C. bureau, was at the head of a team that owned the shutdown story and profiled GOP figures—Marco Rubio, Rafael Cruz—better than the mainstream media. But after the shutdown, Costa was snapped up by the Washington Post. Jonathan Strong, who wasn't promoted to replace Costa, took a leadership and reporting role at Breitbart. Katrina Trinko went to the Heritage Foundation's Foundry; Andrew Stiles returned to the Free Beacon.
The exodus left Betsy Woodruff, the magazine's William F. Buckley fellow, as the only reporter in the D.C. bureau. That's about to change. Woodruff is heading to the Washington Examiner, the conservative weekly and online magazine.
"I'm really excited to be at the Examiner," said Woodruff, "but I'm going to miss my NR colleagues a ton."
Woodruff will stay on the beat through the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual event that the old Costa team just owned. And Woodruff herself is a funny, clear-eyed reporter with an eye for possible scoops on the right. The Examiner, which converted from a daily newspaper to a politics mag last year, has always had a bigger reporting team than NR. A lot of us D.C. readers (and competitors) miss the old, Costa-fied NR, though—its clout with and access to conservatives got it inside the room when no other outlet could even get close.