Politico Co-Founder: Nate Silver ‘Gets Up On His High Horse Quite A Lot’

The frostiness between Politico and Nate Silver resurfaced once again this week, with the co-founder of the Beltway insider’s favorite outlet taking a shot at the polling guru’s supposed pomposity.

In an interview with The New Republic, Politico editor-in-chief John Harris admitted that Silver wasn’t one of his lifelines in the 2012 campaign.

“I will be drummed out of the profession, but I didn’t [read Silver]. My plate is full here,” Harris said. “I know why people found him interesting and entertaining, and some people found him illuminating. There are people in our gang who think he is overblown and get worked up about Nate Silver. I don’t give a damn.”

He later tipped his hat to Silver before levying the criticism.

“I admire how he has built a franchise,” Harris said. “I roll my eyes at how he gets up on his high horse quite a lot on different topics.”

Jim VandeHei, Politico’s executive editor who helped found the publication with Harris, also participated in the interview, saying that some of Silver’s “stuff goes on and on” and that he uses “numbers to prove stuff that I don’t think can be proved by numbers alone.”

Silver and Politico have been involved in some very public quarrels in the last year. The feud was seemingly initiated by a piece written in late-October of last year by Politico’s media reporter Dylan Byers, who wondered if Silver was destined to become a “one-term celebrity” if Mitt Romney defeated President Barack Obama. After correctly forecasting the 2012 presidential election in all 50 states, Silver said that Politico tries to cover politics like sports but “not in an intelligent way at all.” 

The tension resumed in February, when Silver and Politico’s investigative reporter Ken Vogel went back-and-forth in a Twitter spat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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