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City Paper contributor and Politics Hour resident analyst Tom Sherwood broke some news on Tuesday afternoon when he announced that Washington Post editorial board member Jo-Ann Armao would retire this Friday. Armao, a member of the editorial board since 2006, has worked at the Post since 1984 and writes the editorials focused on education and local D.C. affairs. Yes, those include the endorsements for which local pols clamor and local progressives read as a guide for who not to vote for. In recent years, the Post has endorsed Republicans, pro-police policies, and many allies of Mayor Muriel Bowser; D.C. voters have rejected nearly all of those endorsements at the polls.
Armao’s lovers and haters took to Twitter to offer their congratulations or express their excitement over her imminent departure. On the pro-Armao side: retired Postie Robert McCartney, outgoing Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s director of communications, and former Ward 3 Council candidate-turned-Ward 3 State Board of Education Rep. Eric Goulet. On the anti-Armao side: DC for Democracy’s Kesh Ladduwahetty, our friends at 730DC, and teenage D.C. Council candidate Henry Cohen. Many good memes were shared.
Will the Post‘s views change significantly, even with a new writer offering their opinion? It’s hard to predict. But if those making the hiring decisions on K Street NW need some ideas for who should sit in Armao’s seat next, we at Washington City Paper offer some very serious suggestions below.
The at-large councilmember (and former Loose Lips reporter at City Paper) recently lost her reelection bid and says she’ll take some time away from the Wilson Building to work on herself. But we doubt that will last for long. Plus, Silverman, who did a tour at the Post after her time at WCP, certainly has an understanding of both the District government and journalism.
If Silverman’s progressive politics are too much for the Post to swallow, perhaps outgoing Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh is up for the job. The Post rarely endorsed her, but current Loose Lips Alex Koma notes that Cheh’s decades of law school teaching experience and familiarity with the paper’s devoted readers in Ward 3 make her an ideal fit.
The attorney general only has six more weeks in office to stick it to Bowser, his longtime nemesis. Make him the editorial writer and give him a platform to keep the feud alive. He’s not a journalist by training, but his office loves to send lengthy press releases, and his press conference about Washington Commanders last week felt like an audition for a career in televised legal punditry.
Is the Post seeking an editorial board member who supports its established pro-police, pro-business beliefs? Well, step right up, Jack Evans! The ex-Ward 2 councilmember is apparently no longer the subject of a federal investigation and has been making more appearances around town in the past several months. (Perhaps he’s preparing to announce his rumored 2024 run?) He also seems to already have a foot in the door. The Post just published his op-ed about keeping the FBI headquartered in D.C.
Clearly D.C. residency is not a requirement for the author of the Post’s editorials on D.C. politics. Armao infamously resides in Montgomery County. So let us suggest a “geo bachelor” who is probably ripping bicep curls somewhere in Northern Virginia right now. We’re talking about you, former Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Chris Geldart!
The Post’s editorials are already reliably pro-Bowser, so they might as well appoint someone in her inner circle to relay herroner’s priorities to readers. Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio already has two jobs, but we’re sure he can squeeze in a third.
As the co-author of Chocolate City: Race and Democracy in our Nation’s Capital, Musgrove comes with an encyclopedic knowledge of D.C. and its history. In all sincerity, who better to pen the Post’s opinions? But we’re not sure that his critical views of Bowser’s leadership jibes with the editorial board’s position. What a shame.