Word is out today (via his soon-to-be-former Atlantic blogging colleague Marc Ambinder), that the New York Times has picked Ross Douthat to fill the regular op-ed spot (assumed to be reserved for a conservative writer) that Bill Kristol had held for the past year (Gray Lady scholars tell me: is this William Safire's old slot?). In case you're not familiar with Douthat (either from his Atlantic blog or his book from last summer, Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream), he's one of the rising (29-year-old!) brains of the right (and one of my favorites to read, although I end up disagreeing with him more often than I agree).
If you want an introduction to his way of thinking, you can listen to the interview I did with Douthat and his coauthor Reihan Salam last fall, as part of our election year coverage--during the Democratic National Convention, to be exact (and therefore just before the sudden rise of Sarah Palin, whom I'm sure we would have discussed at great length). You can listen to our podcast here, or read the full transcript after the jump. (I have to say I love their author photo, which could not be more DC-wonky, with that nondescript K Street-style building in the background instead of one of the glamorous monuments or government buildings.)