Congratulations to Kathie Obradovich

The Des Moines Register announced yesterday that Kathie Obradovich will be the paper’s new political columnist. Her first column will run this Sunday.

Obradovich has covered Iowa politics for many years and been the Register’s political editor since 2003. She replaces David Yepsen, who earlier this year left to become director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Even though the Register’s statewide reach is not what it was a few decades ago, Yepsen still played an agenda-setting role for Iowa politicians and fellow journalists. Sometimes that was for the good, when he called attention to possible backroom deals at the statehouse. However, Yepsen sometimes forgot that his disapproval didn’t automatically make a political strategy illegitimate. I don’t think he ever apologized for wrongly giving his readers the impression that there was something unfair about encouraging college students to come back to Iowa for the 2008 caucuses, for instance. He was too quick to cite think tank reports as proof that Iowans are overtaxed, without considering the services Iowans get for our tax dollars compared to low-tax states like South Dakota. I also didn’t appreciate his suggestion that women’s political opinions are more “catty” than men’s.

May Obradovich use her agenda-setting power wisely.

I’ve posted the Register’s press release announcing Obradovich’s promotion after the jump.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Des Moines Register announces political columnist

Des Moines, IA The Des Moines Register today announces Kathie Obradovich as the new political columnist.

Generations of Iowans have trusted the Register’s political commentary to help set the agenda, define issues and hold public officials accountable.

For decades, presidential candidates have courted the Register’s attention and national reporters have sought its tips and insight into candidates’ characters and qualifications. Obradovich will not only carry on this tradition but add her own unique voice. “My passion is helping Iowans to engage with their government to make a difference,” said Obradovich, political columnist for The Des Moines Register.

Obradovich has served since 2003 as the Register’s political editor, directing coverage of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, the Iowa Statehouse and Congress. She has been the lead editor of the award-winning Iowa Poll, developing questionnaires and coordinating reporting of the results.

Obradovich has covered Iowa government and politics for over 20 years, including a decade as a reporter and bureau chief at the Iowa Statehouse.

She’s an Iowa native and Iowa State University graduate, with strong family roots in the state.

“Kathie earned this role by covering politics and government in Iowa for 20 years. She has shaped the coverage of elections, Iowa Caucuses and legislative sessions, sometimes under her own byline and sometimes behind the scenes. Born and raised in Iowa and with those years of perspective, she is uniquely suited to carry on the responsibility of the four Des Moines Register political columnists who preceded her.” said Carolyn Washburn, Vice President and Editor of The Des Moines Register.

Obradovich’s first column will appear on Sunday, June 28. You can find her columns every week in The Des Moines Register or online at www.DesMoinesRegister.com. If you are interested in arranging an interview with Kathie Obradovich, please contact The Des Moines Register at (515) 699-7052.

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