Less than three years after launching, the Web site and newspaper Politico is one of the most influential media organizations in Washington. The White House and members of Congress give it news tidbits daily, as do other, well, politicos; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty got Beltway insiders talking about his likely 2012 campaign recently because of a detailed Politico story on who his advisors were.
But that doesn't mean the site has everything all figured out. Its banal, yet breathless, new "Click" section frequently gives the impression that readers have somehow accidentally wandered onto the Onion. As a public service, Salon presents a sampling of the important headlines helping Politico become a force in D.C. -- mostly through keeping very, very careful track of when lawmakers and their aides have birthdays.