A little Mike Allen fact-check here.
Allen never responded to the Erik Wemple Blog’s pre-publication requests for comment, though Politico’s CEO, Jim VandeHei called the report “nonsense” in a radio interview. So we caught up with Allen following Thursday’s “Playbook” breakfast at the Newseum. When asked how he felt about the piece, Allen said, “I’m hustling out of here” to catch a flight. As he made his way toward the building’s elevators, we pressed for just a short comment. Allen repeated his need to get to that flight, and then he was gone.
The event featured a chat with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who bemoaned the scourge of money in Washington and said, “Populism works.” He voiced his concerns that Americans are struggling “to just get by.” Toward the end, he expressed his love for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That’s some good working-class mojo for Allen, whose “Playbook” frequently headlines the concerns and agenda of the country’s vested interests. Which got us thinking — just how did this Trumka thing come about, anyhow? Was Allen trying to make populism work for him as well?
Jeff Hauser, a media outreach specialist for the AFL-CIO, told the Erik Wemple Blog that Allen had invited the group to participate in the breakfast, and discussions started in November. He didn’t specify exactly when.
By Thursday night, Allen hadn’t responded to a (personal) e-mail on the matter.