Ceci Connolly Taking A Leave From Post

The Post’s star health care reporter, Ceci Connolly, will be taking a leave from the Washington Post and joining Manuel Roig-Franzia in Mexico City. We hear that the two plan on getting married at some point in the near future (they “met” during their Katrina coverage). Accordingly, there is now a vacancy on the national desk and the Post is looking for her replacement.

Ceci’s departure is just the latest shake-up at the Washington Post’s national desk. First, we saw National desk editor Michael Abramowitz step down to join the paper’s White House team, in part because Jim VandeHei wanted to cover Washington more broadly (by taking over John Harris’ slot as national political reporter). Abramowitz’s replacement has not yet been anounced but there’s a huge race taking place for that top slot.

Much of what’s taking place is part of the Post’s efforts to amp up its coverage in time for election season (in print, on air–they have a new weekly political show–and online). And one has to admit: Their line-up is impressive. You’ve got Harris as political editor (considered by many as one of the Post’s smartest writers), Dan Balz, VandeHei, Shailagh Murray and Chris Cillizza.

Anyone out there think someone else has a better team? Let us know.

Also, there are rumors that everyone from Tom Edsall to Al Kamen to Dan Balz may find the very generous buyout package to good to refuse.

More to come, for sure…