Nineteen Is the Loneliest Number

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The Washington Post profiled prolific press correspondent (as in, someone who corresponds with the press) Mark Salter today, shedding a little bit of light on the grumpiest of the McCain campaign’s seven dwarves. Salter, for all his guff and frequent invocation of expletives, remains a favorite of those covering the campaign. This is in part because he’s the only senior staffer left who will engage with the press on a level beyond talking points and perhaps even more so because most political professionals, there is no sense that, ultimately, he is for hire. He is not preparing us for the calls he’ll be making in a month or two, on behalf of some other candidate or cause — his party is McCain.

There’s been much speculation about what Salter will do after the election. I gotta say that if his “dream” ever was “to write a history of the McCain White House, to receive the kind of access that Edmund Morris had received from Ronald Reagan,” I don’t think it is anymore. Even if his guy does pull off a Truman, Salter has, by all accounts, soured deeply on politics — and, to some extent, the people that participate in it.