Unlike more colorful, ambitious senators, such as McCain and Rand Paul, he will never be a household name to most Americans (who are either hung over or in church during "Face the Nation"). But he’s a familiar face to America’s political junkies.
Dick Durbin, Prince of the Talking Heads
If you think you’ve been seeing a lot of Sen. Dick Durbin on “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday,” you’re right.
Since 2010, Durbin has appeared 52 times on Sunday morning talk shows. The only senators with more appearances are John McCain (61 times) and Lindsay Graham (58 times). Durbin is by far the most-invited Democrat (the runner-up, Charles Schumer, has been on 35 times), making him a frequent apologist for the Obama administration and debating partner for Republicans.
On May 12, for example, Durbin appeared on “Face the Nation” with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., to discuss a House investigation into whether the administration was responsible for the deaths of four foreign service workers in Benghazi, Libya. Durbin called the inquiry a “witch hunt” and claimed it was intended to undermine former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
That helps explain why Durbin is invited on so often. He’s a hard-headed partisan who never deviates from his party’s line, and he is able to recite Democratic talking points with robotic accuracy. The self-disciplined Durbin never stumbles over a line.
“What makes a good guest is someone who makes news,” said Wallace, the Fox host. “To make news, you have to be at the center of the news and willing to talk about it in a noncanned way, someone who always comes to the shows ready to play.”
He went on: “I sometimes think to myself, ‘Gee, we’ve had McCain on a lot,’” not to mention Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “But the fact of the matter is, they are good guests.”