News & Politics

Politico in Winter

The Arlington-based publication embraces a chilly metaphor.

Winning the snowstorm.

Harry Reid is in winter. No longer Senate majority leader and recovering from a freak accident involving home exercise equipment, the Nevada Democrat “has been burning up the phones with up to 50 calls per day, trying to make clear that he’s still in charge,” Manu Raju writes in Politico.

Last spring it was Vice President Joe Biden‘s turn to experience winter in Politico, “still basically a happy warrior,” Glenn Thrush wrote, but trapped “between the presidential dreams he can’t quite relinquish and the shrinking parameters of a job he described to me as derivative.”

Newt Gingrich: That guy totally was in winter, Alexander Burns reported for Politico in February 2012.

Do you seriously think Representative Charlie Rangel isn’t going to experience winter in Politico? Baby, it was cold outside in July 2010.

Politico’s semiregular embrace of this headline metaphor is not unique to the Arlington-based publication. In the past decade, the Washington Post has written about Robin Williams in winter, called Plácido Domingo a “Lion in Winter” for his performance in Handel’s Tamerlano, suggested the white flowers of sweet box to gardeners who desire “Fragrant Lions in Winter,” and worried about the cold-weather prospects of “The Jaguars in Winter” as the Jacksonville Jaguars faced the Green Bay Packers at home in December 2004. (Jacksonville squeaked it out, 28-25.)

I’d be amazed if Washingtonian hadn’t used a similar headline in its 50-year run (James Goldman‘s play The Lion in Winter was first performed in 1966, and the Peter O’Toole/Katharine Hepburn film version was released in 1968), but Nexis didn’t return anything. When Washingtonian Editor Michael Schaffer edited Washington City Paper, the alt-weekly used the treatment for a story about Marion Barry. The closest thing I could find to a recent version of the headline here was a story by Marisa M. Kashino about why this time of year is pretty good for house-shopping.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.