Jackie Calmes is named Washington opinion columnist

Jackie Calmes
Jackie Calmes, who joined the L.A. Times in 2017, will interpret national politics and federal policy for our audiences in the West.
(Doug Mills)

Sent on behalf of Editorial Page Editor Sewell Chan and Op-Ed Editor Terry Tang

We have good news to share: After a terrific run editing coverage of the Trump White House and the most tumultuous election in modern times, Jackie Calmes is joining Op-Ed as a Washington columnist.

Jackie will interpret national politics and federal policy for our audiences in the West, bringing to bear expertise honed over 40 years of reporting. NPR has acclaimed her book “Dissent: The Radicalization of the Republican Party and Its Capture of the Court,” published a few weeks ago, as “a remarkable work of reportage,” adding: “Journalism in the age of Trump has been an endlessly fraught enterprise; Calmes’ book is a master class in how to do it well.”


Jackie wrote in an essay for us last month, “The radicalization of the Republican Party has been the biggest story of my career. I’ve been watching it from the start, from the time I arrived in then-Democratic Texas just out of college in 1978 to my years as a reporter in Washington through four revolutions — Ronald Reagan’s, Newt Gingrich’s, the tea party’s and Donald Trump’s — each of which took the party further right.”

Jackie began her career at the Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News before moving to Austin to cover state politics, ultimately for the Dallas Morning News. Starting in 1984, as a reporter for CQ, the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times, Jackie established herself as an authority on Congress, the White House, and economic and fiscal policy. While at the Journal, she received the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for her distinguished coverage of George W. Bush’s presidency. Jackie joined the Los Angeles Times in 2017 as an editor, a few months after the start of the Trump administration.

America is at a moment without precedent in living memory. Jackie is the perfect commentator to assess the political tumult and its implications for policies and people. Her opinion column will start in August.