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Fishbowl5 With Politico Mouse

Today we try an unconventional interview with Politico Mouse, the rodent who opened a Twitter account from Politico‘s newsroom and writes about his daily escapades foraging for food in Allbritton’s mice-infested offices in Arlington, Va. He has been under Mike Allen‘s desk and says it’s fruitful. He’s a go-getter. He puts in time in meetings searching for morsels. A few things he has told us: He is a male reporter who works for Politico. His colleagues can’t figure out who he is (and some don’t care to).

In short, we take this with a comical grain of salt and so should you.

Arranging the interview wasn’t easy as Politico Mouse has excuses: “Sorry it takes me so long to respond; Mike Allen finally moved his office and some crumbs that I hid in there got lost.” And this one: “Fair warning: there’s a catered meeting going on right now and I plan to be busy afterward.”

Let’s get started…

1. First of off, what are we dealing with her, are you male or female? And do you have friends? (i.e. other mice running around there that we should know about.) I’m a Mickey, not a Minnie. Unless I’m clubbing in Dupont.

2. Do you have friends? (i.e. other mice running around there that we should know about?) When I started out at Politico in 2007, there were five of us. Just five. You would be amazed at what you can do with the five best mice in D.C. And Rosslyn. But we’ve been expanding and, especially in the last year, there are more and more of us; we now number in the hundreds. Plus a dozen or so at our clandestine sub-steakhouse satellite office.

3. Does HariHei (otherwise known as VandeHarris) know of your existence either in real life or here on Twitter? Do your colleagues know that you’re writing this? What VandeHarris (HariHei? That portmanteau isn’t even spelled right.) does and does not know has always been a mystery to me. According to memos I saw on a gossip site, they are trying to exterminate me, but that’s like trying to keep Jonathan Allen off C-SPAN. Unless, of course, I secretly am VandeHarris, playing an elaborate and surprisingly time-consuming prank on my own company.

Dianna Heitz claims she knows who I am, but she has yet to pull back the curtain. James Hohmann has spent a while working the newsroom to uncover my identity, but like The Hill trying to scoop Politico, it’s probably not going to happen. Lester Feder has been sleuthing. But Sarah Kliff is the most obsessed of all. Day after day she hunts me on Twitter and IRL: hiding traps in her shoes; leaving delicious slabs of cheddar in dark corners; promising me my choice of lyrics in Pulse. #KliffPlease

4. Do you get fed well everyday and under which desks and feet are you most prosperous? Indeed I do. Here are the hot spots to hit up when in the newsroom: Danielle Jones‘ office. Seriously. Blast me some of those snacks, you know what I mean? Lady has got pretzel nuggets, chocolate bars, raisins, Kit Kats, jelly beans, key lime pie, baklava, shots of butter cream icing, etc. Also, anyone still in the office after 10 gets one shot of Bailey’s. Ever been in VandeHei‘s office? If you had, you would know where the term “winning the morning” comes from. Dude’s got a full-service omelet bar, Belgian waffle station (with six fruit toppings), sweet and spicy sausages, bagels, salmon, lox and schmear, giant fluffy biscuits and enough butter to make Paula Deen blush. On Mondays, cheese blintzes; Wednesdays, cinnamon rolls the size and shape of [Rep.] Eric Cantor‘s [R] head; and Fridays, well, Fridays, French toast fried in intern tears and sprinkled with a mixture of gold dust and ground-up [WaPo's] Dana Milbank columns. Near Anna Bacon. Besides having a savoury surname and bloody brilliant accent, all the random treats brought into the office usually end up at the table near her desk. Either there or the conference room. If you’re ever in doubt, find Hohmann. That man knows how to sniff out food. He’s actually an honorary Politico mouse.

5. Do you attend all office meetings and free food gatherings? Yup. Why do you think I got The Continental made Politico‘s official bar? I can’t lump it all the way to Union Pub or Madams Organ all the time. Plus, when people are working late they bring in top-notch cuisine: fancy pizzas, Lebanese, Indian. Naan gets everywhere. When the Discovery landed a couple days ago, they handed out packets of freeze-dried food.

*Bonus Question: What’s on tap for today? Driving my day: Recon for tomorrow’s big station meeting, when everyone will be away from their desks. When the editor’s away, Politico Mouse comes out to play. Plus, St. Patrick’s day prep since presumably there will be green crumbs everywhere tomorrow. I’ve already stockpiled some Guinness.


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