Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, co-authors of POLITICO Playbook, discuss writing a daily must-read newsletter for political insiders, their take on the state of American politics and their outlook on the 2020 presidential campaign.
Sherman on writing POLITICO Playbook: “We don’t try to be anything but who we are and we don’t try to do anything, but what we do. And I think that’s a good lesson for media overall, right? You can’t do everything well. You can’t do everything period. So Playbook is the ultimate insider newsletter. If you don’t interact with Washington at all you might not understand huge swaths of it and that’s okay, I think for a large degree because we try to be the village newsletter for Washington, which means we track people, places, news, who’s up, who’s down. And for a long time we’ve kind of had this cosmic debate in our heads: should it be more than that? The answer to that is no. It’s for the inside set in DC – [and] increasingly New York, L.A., and San Francisco. We’re not going to change who we are to attract more readers, but if you’re a political tourist or someone outside of DC and you want to know more about Washington and the political climate, then you’re free to come along for the ride.”
Palmer on writing about Congress in the new book The Hill to Die On: “We wanted to turn the lens on Congress and say how does this institution that's steeped in rules and regular order and a lot of arcane things that nobody outside of Washington understands – how do they deal with a figure like [President Trump]? And is he going to break the institution? Is he going to force it to change? Or where are they going to come to loggerheads?”