There was a time when Snarkess Ana Marie Cox was a Washington “it” girl: Her blog, Wonkette, was a must-read. MTV wanted to work with her. She got a book deal. She was in Vanity Fair. The town seemed to be her oyster.
But now, in perhaps the biggest gauge of Washington influence, her 39th birthday didn’t merit notice by Politico Mike Allen in this morning’s uber influential “Playbook.” Just two years ago, Allen wrote on her birthday that he had received a “record number of hat tips” from friends and fans of Cox.
After her initial explosion of success, the dust settled. The book didn’t sell very well. She had a hard time holding a job for long periods of time. She made enemies who still griped about her at parties years after the committed offenses. Not a natural in front of the camera (hair flips don’t tend to come off well), TV hopes dried up. And, then, as we documented this summer, her personal world turned upside down. Cox, now single, left Washington and lives in Austin, Texas. She’s been absent from print, TV and Twitter. And, as a result, it seems that she’s now absent from the minds of many Washingtonians.
She now writes for The Guardian, but what a difference a year makes: Her Twitter account — lately, a strong claim to influence — has lost more than 100,000 users over the past year. There was a time when young admiring journalists wanted to meet her, even if she did blow them off for more important people in the room.
It’s a telling Washington tale and a cautionary note: One day, the new hot thing. The next, a footnote.