Ranking the Best Political Blogs

Updated 9/22/08: I’ve been reading these blogs and others ceaselessly as the presidential campaign gets into high gear. I have updated based on now intensive reading.

There are, literally, dozens of worthy political blogs out there. With such an abundance, one can’t (or won’t) possibly read (or even skim) them all. That said, this is a list of what I believe are the top political blogs of 2008. They are chosen on a purely subjective, qualitative scale with an eye towards reflecting both sides of the partisan divide. Choose one from the right, one from the left, and one news blog, and you’ll never be out of the loop again.

10. The Corner / National Review – Brief and sarcastic, the Corner presents the William F. Buckley viewpoint (philosophically, not stylistically) on the events of the day. Always good for a sense of what the dark side is thinking, and a fine place to recharge your batteries, the Corner is a quickie look at whatever stick is currently up conservatives’ asses. [The Corner]

9. CNN Political Ticker – Marshalling forces from different parts of the CNN organization, this blog is the place to go for an informal look behind the news of CNN. It’s updated frequently and covers the world of politics authoritatively. For a political junkie, it’s a good place to get your fix. [CNN Political Ticker]

8. Mark Halperin / The Page – Mark Halperin is a veteran journalist who founded The Note for ABC News, and has taken his show to Time. This is a solid read every day, with a strong editorial filter that weeds out a lot of the B.S. that one must contend with on other blogs. Halperin is well connected and influential and The Page reflects the intelligent (slightly right of center) journalism he’s spent his life devoted to, without sacrificing a sense of humor. [The Page]

7. Ben Smith / Politico – I find myself coming back to Ben Smith more and more often. He is able to find the perfect seam between news and gossip and often has genuine scoops. He’s always informative and has a strong insider perspective on the political scene. [Ben Smith]

6. Glenn Greenwald / Salon – Though not really a blogger, Glenn Greenwald makes the strongest case for upholding the constitution of any scribe on the Internet. He is a relentless and effective writer who doesn’t pull punches while presenting the evidence that makes his case (he’s former constitutional lawyer). He’s a pleasure to read and almost always manages to get the blood boiling (if you’re into that sort of thing), while taking on government abuse and hypocrisy. [Glenn Greenwald]

5. Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Monthly – I have been reading Andrew Sullivan more recently and believe him to be the rare partisan with a decent moral compass and sense of honesty. He posts frequently, throughout the day, and links to and comments on almost everything worth reading about. He is ostensibly a conservative, but, as I say, he’s not an blind ideologue. A daily must. [Andrew Sullivan]

4. Daily Kos – There are many reasons why Daily Kos is a must-read; numerous informed and unique perspectives, the daily congressional overview and analysis, the unalloyed (yet not MoveOn.org stupid) liberality, and The Great Kos (Marko Moulitsas – the man who started the trailblazing site) himself. But the single most important reason to go to Daily Kos is because they actively dispute and rebut virtually every thrust of the Republi-Conservative knife with accuracy and proof. That alone makes it worth the trip. [Daily Kos]

3. Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo – A slightly more objective Daily Kos, TPM is essential political reading for the simple reason that Josh Marshall is a very effective journalist. Marshall knows his stuff and does a great job squeezing relevant news out of what may seem to be a dead issue. Well researched and clearly a labor of love, the site always has something to surprise and engage. [TPM]

2. Real Clear Politics – In a short period of time, Real Clear Politics has become the clearinghouse of the political landscape. If you can’t find it here, it may not exist. The poll summary data is an invaluable resource, the links, combed from far and wide, give you the day in a snapshot, and the depth and breadth political coverage means that you can scrap your RSS feeds and just visit RCP. In addition, the sister website Real Clear Markets performs largely the same purpose for the financial world and helps give readers a comprehensive picture of the most important news of the day. [Real Clear Politics]

1. Coming soon.

Honorable Mention
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones (formerly Washington Monthly) – Always a fresh perspective.
The Caucus / New York Times
The Trail / Washington Post
The Plank / The New Republic

Dishonorable Mention
Drudge Report – A sleazy propaganda organ of GOP
Huffington Post – An influential site, I know, but I find it overwhelming. Needs a redesign.
Instapundit – I’m not there.
The Fix / Washington Post – The pic of Chris Cillizza makes him look like a pompous ass.


5 Responses to Ranking the Best Political Blogs

  1. Sean says:

    good heads up!

  2. fido says:

    Are the Drudge Report and RCP really blogs? Novak? If you stretch the definition you’ve got a point, but DR and RCP are a different animal. They’re really more like portals.

  3. nahnopenotquite says:

    fido – agreed, adopted broad latitude in defining blogs. could easily be called the best political websites – and maybe should have been.

  4. We have finally come to a point in our nation that it seems that everyone is tired of the white male dominance. However, it appears that the nation is not blind and is beginning to turn this election into Palin aka “The Hot Chick” vs Barack “The Black Guy” McCain is not even a factor anymore. He has been dismissed and the focus is clearly on Palin and Barack. Besides McCain will be dead before his term is up and if he does get into office ther terrorist don’t care how you look! They won’t stop killing because you look good! There is a reason Palin has not been put out in front of the news media. She would be eaten alive and they (The republican’s) no it! She is not ready and was chosen because McCain needed a boost! Well he got it and the United States is falling for it hook line and sinker. This is now a Vagina Vote! Go ahead and vote for the Hot CHICK! Dummy

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