Kevin Drum

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Kevin Drum
Born (1958-10-19) October 19, 1958 (age 61)
Long Beach, California, United States
ResidenceIrvine, California, United States

Kevin Drum (born October 19, 1958) is an American journalist. Drum initially rose to prominence through the popularity of his independent blog Calpundit (2003–2004). He was later invited to launch a blog Political Animal (2004–2008) for the Washington Monthly. In 2008, he took a writing and blogging position at Mother Jones magazine.

Drum is politically liberal, and is known for the quality of his statistical and graphical analysis. He was born in Long Beach, California and currently lives in Irvine, California.


Drum graduated from Pacifica High School, in Garden Grove, California, then attended Caltech for two years before transferring to California State University, Long Beach, where he received his bachelor's degree in journalism in 1981.[1] While at CSULB he served as city editor of the university's student run newspaper, The Daily 49er.[1]



After graduating from college, Drum worked at Radio Shack for a few years[1], becoming a store manager in Costa Mesa, California, in 1983.[2] He subsequently got a technical-writing job with a local technology company,[1] becoming a product manager at Emulex.[3] In 1992 he began working at Kofax Image Products, an Irvine, California-based supplier of application software and image processing products.[4] In 2000 he was promoted from the position of VP for Marketing,[5] becoming the general manager of the Ascent Software Business Unit within Kofax[6][4]. In 2001 he moved to newly created position with Dicom New Ventures, the business development arm of the Dicom Group, Kofax's parent company.[7] He quit in 2002 to become a marketing consultant; he gave that up in 2004 to concentrate full-time on writing[1]


Drum's blogging started in 2003, with his independent blog, Calpundit. The Washington Monthly, which wanted a blog, hired Drum in 2004 to launch Political Animal.

Drum's blogging is known for offering original statistical and graphical analysis, with special attention to oil supply, especially peak oil theory and related issues. His posts on education often spark discussion.[8] He is skeptical about flavor-of-the-month school 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 intensive, early intervention.[9] At Calpundit, he is credited with pioneering the trend of "Friday catblogging."[10][11]

Drum has defended Hillary Clinton during her email controversy, stating that her actions were "non-scandalous"[12] and that she is "honest to a fault when discussing policy."[13]

The Iraq war[edit]

Drum supported the 2003 Iraq War in its early stages, but just before the United States launched its attack, 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."[14][15]

Lead and crime[edit]

Drum has published a series of provocative blogs with evidence that suggests a link between crime and environmental lead, including the link between the decline in US crime rates and the phaseout of leaded gasoline.[16] The theory was popularized by public health researcher Jessica Reyes[17] and economist Rick Nevin;[18] Drum's thesis was criticized by Jim Manzi in January 2013;[19] Drum has continued to document new evidence in support of the theory.[20]


In an interview with Norman Geras, Drum said 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.[14]

Drum married in 1993;[1] he and his wife Marian[21] have no children.

On October 24, 2014, Drum posted that he was undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma.[22] On October 18, 2016, he updated readers that it has been two years since his diagnosis and he is "still alive and kicking."[23] In August 2018 he reported that his multiple myeloma remained well under control.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Coker, Matt (March 12, 2014). "Blogging Badass: Kevin Drum | OC Weekly". OC Weekly. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Drum, Kevin (April 5, 2017). "Lunchtime photo". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  3. ^ Brownstein, Mark (January 2, 1989). "Coprocessor to Let Dumb Terminals Access Nets". InfoWorld. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Hee-Won Lim Will Manage Disneyland Pacific Hotel". Los Angeles Times. August 22, 2000. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "Kofax acquires technology rights from RAF". KMWorld. August 26, 1999. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  6. ^ "Lexmark & Kofax Link Devices to Electronic Document Management Systems - WhatTheyThink". Press release. May 10, 2001. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "Executive Changes". Bank Systems & Technology. July 11, 2001. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Matt Yglesias and the Edu-Nihilism Straw Man". Forbes. June 3, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  9. ^ Kevin Drum. "Building Better Kids". Mother Jones. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Terdiman, Daniel[permanent dead link]. The New York Times, Technology Section, October 28, 2004.
  11. ^ Drum, Kevin (March 7, 2003). "All The World's Problems America". Calpundit. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  12. ^ Drum, Kevin (March 27, 2016). "Hillary Email Scandal Continue To Be Dumb But Non-Scandalous". Mother Jones.
  13. ^ Drum, Kevin (March 10, 2016). "Hillary Clinton's Honesty Problem Is Not What You Think It Is". Mother Jones.
  14. ^ a b Geras, Norman. Interview with Kevin Drum, August 19, 2005.
  15. ^ "Four Responses to "What to Do in Iraq: A Roundtable"". Foreign Affairs. July 11, 2006. Archived from the original on July 13, 2006.
  16. ^ Kevin Drum (January–February 2013). "America's Real Criminal Element: Lead". Mother Jones. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  17. ^ Reyes, J. W. (2007). "Environmental Policy as Social Policy? The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime" (PDF). The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. 7. doi:10.2202/1935-1682.1796.
  18. ^ Nevin, R. (2000). "How lead exposure relates to temporal changes in IQ, violent crime, and unwed pregnancy" (PDF). Environmental Research. 83 (1): 1–22. Bibcode:2000ER.....83....1N. doi:10.1006/enrs.1999.4045. PMID 10845777.
  19. ^ "Lead and Crime". National Review. January 10, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Drum, Kevin (February 1, 2018). "An updated lead-crime roundup for 2018". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  21. ^ Drum, Kevin (October 16, 2018). "California's Proposition 5: Just another dumb giveaway to the elderly rich". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  22. ^ Drum, Kevin. "Friday Cancer Blogging". Mother Jones. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  23. ^ Drum, Kevin. "A Special Post For My Sister". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  24. ^ Drum, Kevin (August 28, 2018). "Health update". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 26, 2018.

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