Politico reporter Mike Allen, whose hot-about-town Washington status was recently confirmed via an 8,000-word New York Times Magazine profile, has a dream. It's that Republicans win nine Senate seats this November, making politics more fun for reporters!
It's hard for people outside of Washington to fully grasp what's really important in politics and the art of governance: that the "game" entertains D.C. journalists, a result best achieved by political developments adhering to the dramatic arcs of the elementary-school narratives journalists craft before anything even happens.
What can politics do this November to ensure maximum entertainment for Mike Allen and fellow reporters during the next Congress? Well, as Allen recently told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, it would be his "dream" for Republicans to win nine Senate seats and bring the chamber's partisan balance to 50-50. Think of all the sexy deals and drama he'd get to report objectively about! It would be a hoot.
HH: Yes, I'm saying that Michael Bennet's going to get wiped out by Ken Buck. What do you think?
MA: (laughing) I don't know, but I can tell you the press loves the fact that Ken Buck, he'll definitely be covered. Very colorful, he definitely will be good copy. It's just like the dream of every reporter is that the Republicans will pick up nine seats, and that Marco Rubio wins in Florida, because Hugh, you know what that means?
HH: Impeachment! No. (laughing)
MA: That's a 50-50 Senate. That's power sharing. Ben Nelson suddenly is huge.
It's bizarre enough that Allen would openly admit to "dreaming" of a specific election result, but what is that last line? "Ben Nelson suddenly is huge"? First of all, no one — Democrats, Republicans, or Independents — really likes Ben Nelson at all, so it's pretty strange that Nelson having more power would be the fulfillment of Mike Allen's naughtiest fantasies. More importantly, Ben Nelson is already annoyingly "huge," because the success or failure of Republican filibuster attempts frequently hinge on him, the most conservative Democrat, who hates his party.
But then again, if Mike Allen wants to fantasize over an impending Ben Nelson Age of Total Tyranny, hey, go nuts! All that matters, after all, is his entertainment.