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Ah, that most wonderful time of the election season, when political operatives go snooping for anything that might embarrass the enemy. Even unruly eyebrows.
In this case, the enemy is Democratic Senate candidate Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, who stands accused of trying to cover up the startling fact that he has not two, but one, eyebrow.
We had not noticed Casey’s unibrow until someone brought it to our attention that the Casey campaign, in a video on the candidate’s official Web site, apparently doctored an old photo of Casey to make it look as if he had normal eyebrows.
Casey’s Web site currently features a video interview with Arkecia Morris, a fifth-grade student of Casey’s when he was a teacher back in the day at the Gesu School in North Philadelphia. The former student remembers Casey as a “gentle giant” and talks about what a wonderful, inspirational teacher he was.
As she talks, a photo of Casey as a young buck pops on the screen. The 20-something teacher is wearing a button-down shirt and tie, smiling from ear to ear, with a full head of thick brown hair and two dark bushy eyebrows. Wait a second: TWO bushy eyebrows?
Thanks to an informant who has been closely tracking Casey’s eyebrow grooming, or lack thereof, we found out that the doctored photo appears elsewhere on Casey’s Web site — undoctored. Yes, in other words, Casey has one eyebrow in a copy of the exact photograph, which appears under “family photos” on the Casey site.
The Casey campaign ’fessed up to the fact that the photo used in the campaign video appears to have been altered somehow. But how and by whom, Casey campaign spokesman Larry Smar wouldn’t say.
“You probably couldn’t attribute the change to the black-and-white photo,” he acknowledged. “I think we’ll let people be the judge. If it were, I think the question is, ‘Why not?’”
Or, as we asked: Why isn’t Casey getting his eyebrows waxed on a regular basis, so his media consultants don’t have to Photoshop-out his unibrow? (It’s not as painful as it looks, Bob, really. Please, for crying out loud — try it!)
“Well,” Smar replied, “I think we’ve hit upon the next great debate: to pluck or to wax.”
Virginia Davis, a spokeswoman for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), wouldn’t comment on whether her boss would be interested in debating the topic with Casey. Of the Democratic candidate’s apparent attempt to hide his unibrow, she said, “Bob Casey has a reputation for trying to be all things to all people, but who could have predicted he’d go this far?”
If Casey chooses not to wax and is successful in his bid to unseat Santorum, would he be the only sitting Senator with a unibrow?
Offensive Campaign Swag? Speaking of Santorum, some folks claimed they were offended when they received a “Santorum 2006” rubber bracelet in the mail.
“You know those Lance Armstrong Live Strong yellow bracelets?” a tipster, who works in governmental affairs at a big telecom company, wrote in an e-mail. He said his boss received “a red Santorum 2006 version.”
“DISGUSTING!!” he wrote. “Taking the symbol of a noble and worthy cause like fighting cancer and turning it into a cheap political stunt is low even for Santorum.”
Davis, the Santorum spokeswoman, rolled her eyes at the complaint, saying the campaign hands out lots of campaign souvenirs.
“A lot of different organizations have been making similar bracelets,” she said.
Watch Out, Tony. Just a heads-up to White House spokesman Tony Snow: Friday could turn into the Day of the Living Press Secretaries.
The Senate Press Secretary Association is scheduled to take a little field trip to the White House Friday morning to attend Snow’s 8 a.m. briefing.
“We are pleased to announce that the White House has invited a space-limited SPSA group to the White House this Friday, Sept. 22 for a morning briefing with Tony Snow, the White House Press Secretary,” the announcement said.
Unclear yet how many press secretaries have signed up, or whether they’ll be invited to ask questions, or how many questions about the detainee legislation Snow might punt to them.
Mr. Grant! Actress Mary Tyler Moore is coming to Capitol Hill today to promote a new magazine published by the National Institutes of Health. Moore graces the fall cover of the magazine, which is called Medline Plus, and even writes a poem about her battle with diabetes.
Moore, best known for her eponymous 1970s sitcom, is scheduled to hold a news conference in the Capitol this morning with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Reps. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) and Mike Castle (R-Del.), who co-chair the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.
Maybe she’ll bump into Jewel, who’s also tooling around the Capitol today, doing her bit to stop “drive-through mastectomies.”
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