Poll: Milbank Mystery Chiller Theater

Give it to the Washington Post's Dana Milbank. Where other reporters would have sat through an unrevealing "don't use my name" interview with a Republican Senate hopeful and thrown up their hands, Milbank took quotes from "a GOP Senate candidate in a blue state" and crafted a top-notch (well, some notch) Hardy Boys mystery. From National Review to Fishbowl DC to... back to National Review, everyone's wondering: Who said this?

"In 2001, we were attacked and the president is on the ground, on a mound with his arm around the fireman, symbol of America," he said, between bites of hanger steak and risotto. "In Katrina, the president is at 30,000 feet in an airplane looking down at people dying, living on a bridge. And that disconnect, I think, sums up, for me at least, the frustration that Americans feel."


He spoke of his party affiliation as though it were a congenital defect rather than a choice. "It's an impediment. It's a hurdle I have to overcome," he said. "I've got an 'R' here, a scarlet letter."

That left the candidate in a difficult spot. "For me to pretend I'm not a Republican would be a lie," he reasoned. But to run as a proud Republican? "That's going to be tough, it's going to be tough to do," he said. "If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose."

The candidate says all this while wearing "a monogrammed shirt, his French cuffs sprouting cuff links coordinated with his necktie." And Bill Frist thinks he's the "best." Fishbowl DC has one guess, but there's not exactly a shortage of Republican candidates running scared in blue states and denying George W. Bush three times before the cock crows.

So who's the mystery candidate? Take the poll.

For One Senate Candidate, the 'R' Is a 'Scarlet Letter' [WaPo]

Who's the Mystery Man? [Fishbowl DC]

"If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose." [National Review Online]

-- David Weigel


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