A couple weeks ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about how Washington politicians are too boring. I say this tongue-in-cheek because if you're not boring, it means you're probably doing something crazy, like claiming Obama was really born in Kenya. (Boring = sane = probably good for the state.) Now, thanks to Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism, we have a good sense of how being boring does or does not translate into national media coverage.
Sadly -- or fortunately, depending on your perspective -- Washington doesn't have anyone like South Carolina's Alvin Greene.
Seeing as how Greene -- an unemployed army vet always ready to utter a baffling quote -- is the strangest thing to hit American politics all year, this is understandable. But Calderone's results are misleading.
Pew has a complicated formula for measuring publicity, and Calderone asked the nonpartisan non-profit to crunch its numbers between the end of South Carolina's primary day and July 18. Meaning the span of time most likely to include stories about Greene, the Gump-ian candidate who came out of nowhere to make the ballot.
Interested in seeing how Greene and Washington's politicians lined up in Pew's readings for the whole year, I had them do the same number-crunching starting on January 1. The results: a lot of names you've heard, none of them local.
1. Joe Sestak
2. Barack Obama
3. Charlie Crist
4. Rand Paul
5. Blanche Lincoln
6. Evan Bayh
7. Arlen Specter
8. The aforementioned Greene
9. Nikki Haley
10. John McCain
By the way, if you're looking for a darkhorse Washingtonian to crack Pew's list, look no further than Patty Murray-challenger Clint Didier. The Tea Party and Sarah Palin-supported former NFL tight end turned alfalfa farmer has already had his fair share of memorable gaffes. If he pulls off an upset and bests fellow Republican Dino Rossi to make the ballot, don't be surprised if he becomes a more lucid, West Coast Alvin Greene 2.0.