After my post on Dana Milbank‚Äôs ‚ÄúMystery Candidate‚Äù column this morning, my inbox received a steady stream of e-mail with people positing their guesses. I‚Äôve come to the conclusion that my initial guess was wrong, so let‚Äôs do this by elimination.
My first guess was this is Santorum, but Frist popping in to pump him up doesn‚Äôt make sense. I‚Äôm fairly certain it‚Äôs a challenger, in a targeted seat, from a state that leans pretty Democrat.
That left me with Washington, Maryland, New Jersey, and Minnesota. There were a lot of guesses that it‚Äôs Steele, but my bet is he‚Äôs smarter than that. It would explain the Frist fly-by, but Steele is getting to much help from the national committee and the administration to blow it all. Given that Frist will know who he plugged at lunch, it‚Äôs probably not Steele.
So looking at the other details we have ‚Äì his dress, his meal choice, his general outlook on life ‚Äì my guess is it‚Äôs Tom Kean from New Jersey. McGavick doesn‚Äôt seem to fit the bill of impeccable dresser, Kennedy is a sitting Congressman, so I don‚Äôt think he‚Äôd heap scorn on Congress‚Äô inability to do anything ‚Äì he‚Äôd blame it on the Dems, and Steele doesn‚Äôt strike me as the four-minute egg type.
Given McKean‚Äôs state, relation to the Chairman of the 9-11 Commission, and other ties to the party, he can‚Äôt really go on the record, yet he seems, to me at least, to fit the bill here.
So that‚Äôs my guess‚Ä¶ Thoughts?
UPDATE: Apparently Steele’s not as smart as I thought. ABC News is reporting the Maryland Senate hopeful is indeed Candidate X. My hopes for that guy are ruined. He ignored the greatest rule of Washington – this town is full of smart people who love to solve a mystery.