On Sunday Politico‘s Playbook writer Mike Allen included one item regarding the sex scandal embroiling Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Suspiciously it was only Allen’s third item in a scandal that has rocked Washington for a week and a half with new, sometimes shocking details emerging daily. The item linked to a Politico story on the latest details of what is happening and included an Allen translation of what is “really” going on. It was that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi “does NOT believe rehab is an adequate alternative to resigning.”
All in all, hardly the insidery stuff for which Allen is known.
Today we learn why Allen may be avoiding the Weiner story. It involves his close ties to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton‘s longtime press aide Philippe Reines, the subject of a lengthy WaPo Style section profile today in which Reines is hailed as a ‘spinmeister” in recent weeks for his colleague and another longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin. That profile secured a whopping space in this morning’s Playbook under the subject heading, TOP TALKER and BEHIND THE CURTAIN. Playbook made no mention of Weiner or his wife. In the story, Reines’s close friendship to Allen is noted. In fact, outside of former CBS anchor Katie Couric, who was used as a scene setter for the story, Allen is the only Washington reporter mentioned in the piece. The story says: “At James Carville’s restaurant West 24, he ‘just hit it off’ with journalist Mike Allen, the future maven of Politico’s Playbook.”
We asked Allen: “Does the reason you are not writing much about the Weiner scandal involve your close ties to Clinton aide Philippe Reines as exemplified in the Washington Post profile you highlight in this morning’s Playbook?”
We look forward to his answer should it arrive.