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October 19, 1958 .|
Long Beach, California
Drum attended Caltech for two years before transferring to California State University, Long Beach where he received his bachelor's degree in journalism in 1981. While at CSULB he served as city editor of the university's student run newspaper, the Daily 49er.
Drum rose to prominence through the popularity of his now-defunct independent liberal blog Calpundit (2003–2004) and through his blog Political Animal (2004–2008) published by the Washington Monthly. In 2008, he took a position blogging at Mother Jones magazine web site.
Stylistically, his blog is known for offering original statistical or graphical analysis, with special attention to oil supply, especially peak oil theory, and related issues. His provocative series suggested a link between the recent decline in US crime rates and the phaseout of leaded gasoline which was criticized by Jim Manzi . His posts on education often spark discussion. He is skeptical about flavor-of-the-month reforms which "disappear within a few years to be replaced by some new silver bullet—and always without producing any scalable, practical, long-lasting results" while he favors increased spending on three to five year olds.While blogging at Calpundit he is credited with pioneering the trend of "Friday catblogging."
Prior to writing full time about politics he worked as a technical writer, then moved into high-tech marketing. He was with Kofax Image Products for nine years as VP for Marketing and general manager of the software division. He also has worked as a consultant.
In an interview with Norman Geras, Drum stated that his intellectual heroes were Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes, Edward R. Murrow and Charles Darwin. He also considers Benjamin Franklin his all-time favorite political hero.
The Iraq war
Drum supported the 2003 Iraq War in its early stages, but just before it was initiated by the United States he changed his mind. He said, "Before the war started I switched to opposition on practical grounds (i.e., that George W. Bush's approach was incapable of accomplishing the goals it was meant to accomplish). Since then, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that, in fact, I should have opposed it all along on philosophical grounds: namely that it was a fundamentally flawed concept and had no chance of working even if it had been competently executed."