The fictional Sen. Jefferson Smith and McAllister parallel more than in the fact neither visited Washington, D.C. before assuming their offices. Smith was a complete rube about the ways Congress worked. He inherited a staff of cynics and manipulators, trying to keep him from interfering with the agenda they shared with powerful Members. He let the media use his story in ways to suit their needs to sell papers, even as this raised ire among his fellow Members of Congress. At one point he let his affections for a female distract him from doing a good job.
That McAllister shares the similarity on the last account has become obvious to anyone perusing a politics headline in the past week, except that in Smith’s case it only caused him to nearly miss being able to blow the whistle on a crooked scheme, while McAllister’s game of tongue hockey with a married aide, captured on video released to the media, makes him appear less than upstanding and has far greater ramifications. But the other two instances both expose less obvious yet crucial mistakes as to why he took a job-for-life gig and put it up for grabs.