1. Julianna Goldman. The campaign could be a breakout season for Bloomberg News, thanks in part to Goldman. The Bethesda native joined Bloomberg in 2003 as a producer after graduating from Barnard. With executive editor Al Hunt’s stamp, she started reporting and covered the 2008 campaign, then became Bloomberg’s chief White House correspondent. Goldman, 30, is deeply sourced in the Obama team. She hits the campaign trail this month.
2. Robert Costa. Four years ago, Costa was running a political program for Notre Dame’s TV station. He was also interning for PBS’s Charlie Rose and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Costa graduated, then nailed a fellowship writing editorials for the Wall Street Journal. Next gig: working for the National Review Institute’s William F. Buckley Fellowship. Now Costa, 26, covers politics for National Review Online. Look to him for inside coverage of the right.
3. Nia-Malika Henderson. The Washington Post lured Henderson from Politico last year to cover the East Wing and the Obama family. She brings her ample sources to campaign coverage, where she’ll run the Election 2012 blog and venture out on the trail. Henderson, 37, interned for the Post in 2005 with Phil Rucker, who’s also penning sparkling prose from the trail. She covered Barack Obama’s 2008 race for Newsday.
4. Jon Ward. The 34-year-old covers the daily scrum for the Huffington Post. He grew up in Montgomery County and got his degree from the University of Maryland. After stints at the Washington Times and Tucker Carlson’s the Daily Caller, he joined Huffington in March. Want to understand the Mitt Romney campaign? Look up Ward. His teammate, Sam Stein, helped start Huffington’s DC bureau in 2007. Both break news and file strong enterprise stories.
5. Maggie Haberman. Politico is stocked with stars—Jonathan Martin, Ben Smith, and David Rogers, among many others—but Haberman, 38, stands out as the tough street reporter, thanks to campaigns she’s covered during 13 years for the New York tabloids. With Politico since May 2010, she was part of the team that broke the Herman Cain sexual-harassment scandal. Her sourcing strength is in fundraising, especially the GOP side.
This article appears in the December 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.