National Journal Spokeswoman Taylor West has decided to roll the dice and head west for love. “I know – it’s kind of nuts,” she said when we wrote late Wednesday after learning the news in a post entitled “Westward bound.” “But if you’re going to do something crazy, might as well do it for love, right?”
After the elections, West will leave National Journal for Denver, Colo. “It was not an easy decision to make, but it was a life decision, and ultimately mountains and matters of the heart carried the day,” she wrote in her post. Her boyfriend resides in Denver and the couple have had a long distance relationship for the past year.
In her outpouring, West expressed gratitude for the NJ reporters with whom she has worked. “I have also worked in a newsroom full of sharp, ambitious, and incredibly fun reporters, who have made my job rewarding beyond what I could have hoped. It has been an honor, a joy, and an adventure. … I could not have asked for better than my job and my co-workers at National Journal, and I will miss them immensely.”
And brass will miss her, too.
National Journal‘s typically effusive Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier spoke with FishbowlDC by phone today about West. “I’ll miss everything about Taylor, her incredible sense of humor, her wicked sharp intelligence and her willingness to work with everyone within the National Journal organization to make us all better,” he said. We asked if he had any wisdom for her: “Don’t forget that you’re the smartest person in every room you walk to, because you are.” Isn’t that a tad pompous way to be? “I think it’s a fact,” he replied. “Every room she’s walks into…I think it’s a compliment to be confident. When you want to walk into a room, you want to own it and not doubt your abilities.”
The Atlantic‘s Director of Communication Linda Douglass also sung West’s praises and admitted to being “heartbroken” by the news.
Here is what she’ll miss: “First, her brains. Taylor is one of the smartest people I’ve worked with; and given how long I’ve been around, that’s really saying something. I’ll miss her judgment, her exceptional writing skills, her honesty and her wit. I am truly fond of her so will also miss her friendship.” As for life lessons: “When it comes to work, try not to settle. You should love what you do and do something else if you stop loving it. You should think hard about what your priorities are, personally and professionally. Given the way Taylor has lived her life so far, I’m confident she’s going to make great decisions. Though, selfishly, I wish I could talk her out of this one!”
West’s job is now up for grabs. See a description here.
We wish West all the best in her new adventure!