Like so many others who began reading Raising Kaine during the Webb campaign, I came to rely on that site for news and opinion about Virginia and national politics. Lowell also was one of the most supportive people to me in my own blogging efforts. He constantly gave me encouragement and was generous in linking to this blog. In addition, he frequently front paged my RK diaries. And he often added illustrations to those diaries that made them livelier and more eye catching to readers. Lowell has always been generous with his support and encouragement to fellow bloggers.
Our decision to wrap up RK after four years was not a precipitous one at all. In fact, since Jim Webb's victory over George Allen, we have seriously considered shutting down this blog on several occasions. For whatever reason, maybe masochism (more charitably, we could say "dedication" and "commitment" - ha), we decided to continue through the 2007 General Assembly cycle and also the 2008 federal year. Overall, it was a lot of fun, although extremely time consuming (I haven't taken a real vacation in several years now...) and certainly not financially lucrative (so much for there being a "business model" for state-level bloggers - at least not for many years to come, I think). Also, as in any line of work, there are good people (lots of them) in blogging and politics, and there are...well, other people. :) But for myself, I'd rather focus on all the positive experiences and great people I've met the past 4 years.
At some level, it would be nice if this could continue forever, but I've got other things I want to accomplish and, frankly, this is making that more, not less, difficult to accomplish. The bottom line is this: today, Eric and I believe we are at the most natural of "natural breaking points" and - in keeping with the theme of the past year - that it's time for a change.
Personally, my #1 goal is to get back to what i was doing prior to March 2006; working on international energy, energy-related environmental, and energy security issues for the federal government. Currently, I'm in the middle of a job hunt, and we'll see how that works out, but I definitely want to devote all my attention to that and stop being distracted by the daily demands of blogging. I also, frankly, don't want to get sucked into the 2009 Virginia election season, because if I do get sucked in, something tells me I'll never get sucked back out again. :) And, also frankly, I simply don't want to start another 4-year political cycle (the expression, "been there, done that" springs to mind), especially now that I am eager to get back in the federal government, soon to be under new - and infinitely better - management!
Those of us who read, posted and commented on RK came because we valued lively discussion, informed opinions, heated controversy, and valued friendships. I met and exchanged ideas across the Net with so many wonderful people because of RK. It was the first blog I read every morning. Often, it was the last one I read before switching off my computer at night.
Despite Lowell's modesty, RK can take a large share of the credit for turning Virginia blue. It quite simply was one of the best progressive statewide sites in the nation. I shall miss it.