ARLINGTON, Va – POLITICO today announced a new Playbook team that will helm the indispensable, but unofficial, guide to official Washington. On January 19, Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza and Tara Palmeri take the reins of POLITICO Playbook to set the agenda for the political day and days ahead; break news and make sense of it; and provide a steady dose of insider nuggets and intrigue for and about the power players in Washington.
“This town” has changed. And no one covers this town quite like POLITICO Playbook. That’s why we’re thinking bigger for POLITICO’s anchor product. The most obvious and important change is the makeup of the team and how it will be deployed.
“Playbook is the way the Washington political world starts its day, and keeps up with what’s playing out on the Hill, at the White House and across town throughout it,” said Matthew Kaminski, POLITICO’s editor-in-chief. “The team we’re unveiling today is made of some of the best reporters and smartest political writers that I’ve ever worked with. But they’re also incredibly dynamic and charismatic people who will bring firepower and freshness to Playbook every day.”
Playbook 3.0 will take readers inside the backrooms of decision-making for all the important power centers — from the West Wing and congressional leaders’ offices to deep inside key agencies and K Street conversation, and ultimately to the campaign trail. It will bring readers to the front lines of the big legislative battles dominating the headlines — and unpack why they matter.
The new team will shed light on the personalities driving those fights — their egos, insecurities and peccadillos. They will tell readers not just the stories that they should not miss — but what the people who are shaping them really think in private. They will aggressively cover the next generation of power players in a changing, more diverse capital. And we will be adding new visual elements and tools to tell all these stories in different ways. Playbook will also have its own dedicated editor, Mike Zapler, who previously was POLITICO’s politics editor for the 2020 election cycle.
“The cast we’ve assembled will make this the best Playbook yet — with more insidery reporting across all of Washington’s power centers, and more sizzle,” said Mike Zapler, deputy managing editor, Playbook. “It will be even more informative and more fun to read.”
Playbook 3.0 will be the insider’s essential guide to the Biden presidency and how Washington and the GOP respond once President Trump departs office. The team will obsess on the important decision-making rooms, as well as the informal salons of power in Washington, and bring you inside of them.
THE NEW PLAYBOOK TEAM
Rachael Bade is a 10-year veteran of the congressional press corps, where her stories have illuminated the power struggles and personal dynamics animating the major policy clashes of Capitol Hill. She spent the past two years covering House Democrats’ oversight of the Trump Administration for The Washington Post, where she routinely broke news on the party’s attempts to hold the president accountable as well as the historic impeachment effort. She is currently writing a book, “A Perfect Phone Call,” for HarperCollins’ William Morrow publishing house about how and why the move to oust Trump failed. Before joining the Post in early 2019, Rachael covered Congress for Politico, where she spent six years of her journalism career. From her vantage point on the Hill, she chronicled President Trump’s remaking of the GOP, churning out stories with behind-the-scenes details about the struggle between pro-Trump lawmakers and those fearful of the new direction of the party. Rachael is a political analyst for CNN and has also appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” ABC’s “This Week” and Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday.” A small-town, Ohio-native, she graduated from the University of Dayton with degrees in political science and communication and is a former classical ballet dancer.
Eugene Daniels is a White House Reporter and Playbook Author covering Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and the Second Gentleman. Since joining POLITICO in 2018, he’s covered the midterms, the Democratic presidential primary and general election through print, video journalism and podcasts. During the country’s reckoning with race in 2020, Eugene moderated POLITICO’s Confronting Inequality Town Hall series that examined how inequities in policing, housing, healthcare, education and employment permeate and plague the United States. Prior to POLITICO, Eugene covered the 2016 primary, general election and national politics as a political reporter at Newsy. He began his career in local television in Colorado Springs and graduated from Colorado State University in 2012.
Ryan Lizza is the Chief Washington Correspondent for POLITICO and covers presidential politics, Congress, and the White House. Since arriving in Washington in 1998, Lizza has written about national politics, policy and elections for Esquire, New York Magazine, GQ, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times and The Atlantic. Lizza, who is also a Senior Political Analyst for CNN, has covered every presidential election since 2000, as well as the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. His reporting on Obama won the White House Correspondents' Association’s Aldo Beckman award for presidential news coverage, and Lizza’s reporting on the Arab Spring won the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence. Lizza grew up in New York and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
Tara Palmeri was the host and chief investigative reporter of two acclaimed Sony Music podcasts — "Broken: Seeking Justice" and "Power: The Maxwells." She was a White House Correspondent for ABC News. In 2016, she moved to Washington, D.C., to cover the Trump administration for POLITICO. She was also a CNN Political Analyst. Before that she was a part of the team that launched POLITICO Europe in Brussels, where she covered European politics and wrote the weekly Playbook Plus column with Ryan Heath. She was also a CNBC contributor. Tara's work has taken her all over the world from North Korea to Afghanistan to a little strip of land on the Danube River called "Liberland." She was the inspiration for the tenacious reporter character in the roman a clef "Les Compromis" about mischief in halls of the European Parliament a la "House of Cards." Tara also was a columnist for New York Post's "Page Six" and covered New York City Hall. She started her career as a news assistant for CNN and then went on to write the Washington Examiner's "Yeas & Nays" column. She graduated summa cum laude from American University in 2008.