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Bill Hamilton, one of the most experienced editors at the Washington Post is taking the money and running. The 58-year-old Hamilton is availing himself of the Post‘s 2009 buyout offer and will join Politico on a yet-to-be-determined date.

After jump, Politico memo (implicitly) thanks Washington Post for the referral.

Some good news: Bill Hamilton, one of the best editors we ever worked for and with, has decided to take a buy-out from the Washington Post. And he is headed our way.

We’ll work out many of the details on arrival date and title later. Our conversations focused on the big picture: Would there be a good fit here for someone of Bill’s experience and journalistic vision on our leadership team? He and we both decided the answer was emphatically yes.

The reasons are in front of us every day. The outstanding work we often do on big days we should be doing every day. When we fall short, it’s often because our editing structure is too taxed to give reporters and stories the attention they deserve. We need more horses in the cavalry.

Bill is no ordinary horse. Among the highlights in his decades-long career at the Post is editing David Maraniss’s Pulitzer-winning coverage of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, and helping shepherd many of Bob Woodward’s projects to publication. He brims with ideas about Washington, about national politics, and about the news business, and it’s a testament to how far and how fast POLITICO has come that Bill sees us the kind of place where he can make his ideas happen.

He has a strong hard news background. He was national editor during the Clinton impeachment drama and as assistant managing editor for politics was responsible for much of the best of the Post’s 2008 campaign coverage.

Best of all, Bill is a terrific colleague. Everyone who has worked with Bill likes him, and has benefited from his good judgment and care with copy.

We are thrilled that he will soon be in our newsroom.

John Harris

Jim VandeHei