It's the kind of fawning media treatment any politician would die for -- in any normal election year. But it might just be the kiss of death for Sen. Michael Bennet, given the angry, anti-Washington mood that prevails.
I'm talking about the swooning coverage Bennet has received not from one, but from two Washington Post columnists; first from Dana Milbank, now from Richard Cohen. True, Milbank's piece was as much an attack on Andrew Romanoff as a valentine for Bennet (Milbank seems to be holding some grudge against Romanoff, dating back to their days as Yalies, sniff, sniff). But no matter. Given the distance most members of Congress are trying to put between themselves and the Potomac River, having columnists at the capital city's company paper singing your praises might as well be a funeral dirge.
What fun campaign ads a smart challenger could make of this. Let's call this spot "Love Affair":
"Michael Bennet wants you to think he's a Washington outsider. But for an outsider, Michael Bennet sure has a lot of admirers at the ultimate insider newspaper, The Washington Post. One liberal Post writer calls Michael Bennet "one of the good guys." Another says he's "the perfect senate candidate." If the liberal Washington Post thinks so highly of Michael Bennet, how much of a Washington outsider can Bennet be? If the liberal media elite wants to keep Michael Bennet in Washington, isn't that one more reason why we in Colorado shouldn't?"
Not bad for an old campaigner, if I may say so. I'll sell any Bennet rival the rights for $45.00 and a lotto ticket.
But here's the point: If Michael Bennet really is friendly with folks at The Washington Post, he ought to call them up and tell them to knock it off. Any more damning praise from that newspaper will be the kiss of death for his political career.