Possibly the weirdest Politico story of 2013—which is saying something, considering how strange the process-driven coverage of the news organization that lives to “win the morning” often is—was the preview the paper ran in April of a book that would come out in July. “What strikes outsiders as slimy is often seen as savvy here,” the story noted, with little in the way of self-consciousness. The book it previewed, Mark Leibovich’s This Town, landed loudly on cocktail parties and Twitter feeds a couple months later. Its bumbling villains, like superlawyer Bob Barnett and media fixer Tammy Haddad, came in for even more gossip than usual; it didn’t really have any heroes. But Leibovich, for all the scorn he heaped on well-deserving targets, all the anxiety he produced before the book came out, all the gripes from defender of dictators Lanny Davis about not being skewered in print, will always eat lunch in This Town again, to borrow his common refrain. Or, in the case of the Politico Playbook event featuring Leibovich as a panelist—hosted in December by Mike Allen, the a co-author of the April story and the subject of a skeptical chapter in Leibovich’s book—breakfast. The only thing worse than being talked about in federal Washington, it seemed, was not being talked about.