Cragg Hines has left the building

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Today, Chronicle DC columnist Cragg Hines turns in his last column — fittingly, a reflection of his career and himself:

I thought about going quietly, just a couple of sentences toward the end of a regular column noting that after more than three decades of writing about politics and government for Chronicle readers that I was pulling the plug.

I decided that approach, however elegant and restrained, was sort of chicken and not actually my style. There would be a summing up, a possibly self-indulgent coda to my current career. I knew I’d have fun doing a wrap-up, and I have.

The Chron‘s veteran columnist has seemed bored for quite a while now, turning in either predictably lazy blasts at Republican pols or, worse, dispatches on his C-SPAN viewing or his take on Washington Post architecture columns. In many ways, he had come to epitomize a largely irrelevant D.C. bureau that never breaks news or offers fresh, well-sourced insight. We can’t help but think that at some point, the accomplished journalist simply grew bored with the routine at an irrelevant bureau.

It’s tempting to suggest that the Chron DC bureau may benefit from addition by subtraction, but as we have seen from the Plagiarist‘s hiatus from the newspaper’s metro/state pages, that’s not necessarily the case. Indeed, if it means the DC bureau will be featuring more of Julie Mason’s editorial rambles, then it certainly won’t be a case of addition by subtraction.

In any case, the Coven wishes Hines well in whatever comes next. Personally, I’d like to see him continue writing about travel in some capacity. He’s an avid traveler, and that has been some of his most interesting, compelling writing in recent years.

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Kevin Whited
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