Midterm election winners and losers: Who's good for gossip, who's bad for gossip, who failed at gossip
Many people look at elections results and ask, "Is this good for the country?" We ask, "Is this good for gossip?" Who from the class of 2010 will shine on these pages -- and who represents a tragic loss for our cause?
Consider House Speaker-designate John Boehner. You knew about the chain-smoking, the perma-tan, those sparkling green eyes, the awesome late-night parties at the Republican convention. But it wasn't until Tuesday night's victory address that we fully grasped his potential: He's a crier! "I spent my life chasing the American dream," he said, then paused, choked up, fought back the tears -- only to start blubbering again about how he "put my heart and soul into running a small business." Not even Glenn Beck cries this well. After four years of reserved, precise (okay, boring) Nancy Pelosi speeches, it's about time.
Which of Tuesday's races were good for the gossip biz, and which were bad?...
GOOD FOR GOSSIP
Rand Paul: Hey, we totally get that "Aqua Buddha" was just a harmless, goofy fraternity stunt for the new Republican senator from Kentucky. That's why we love it.
Sean Duffy: An MTV "Real World" alum (Boston, 1997), married to another (Rachel Campos, San Francisco, 1994), with whom he has six kids, is now a Republican congressman from Wisconsin. Was it Marshall McLuhan who predicted this, or Andy Warhol?
Andrew Cuomo: You know the new Democratic governor of New York is dating "Semi-Homemade" Sandra Lee, right?
David Vitter: He weathered the explosive D.C. Madam scandal and coasted to a surprisingly easy reelection. Now, surely just a matter of time before the Louisiana Republican lets his guard down again .....
Ben Quayle: Too soon to call it a dynasty? And can the Arizona Republican laugh about the "Tater Tot" jokes? Now he and his cute wife need to start having kids instead of borrowing them for campaign ads.
Vince Gray: A single-ready-to-mingle D.C. mayor who loves to dance, has incredibly attractive grown children ... sorry, Carlos Allen fans, but this really was the better gossip choice.
Marco Rubio: Have you seen the new Florida senator's wife? Smokin'! Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. It's like the Republicans decided they needed their own Elizabeth Kucinich.
Kristi Noem: At 38, the new GOP rep from South Dakota has a Palinesque grace: The married mom of three rides horses, hunts, looks hot doing it. And lives in the fast lane: more than 20 speeding tickets, one for going 94 mph this year!
Jon Runyan: The former Philly Eagles offensive lineman was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL; just picked up a seat in New Jersey. "I probably will be the largest human being on the Hill," the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Republican said.
Cedric Richmond: The New Orleans Democrat is 37, handsome, single -- and accidentally let President Obama's congratulations call go to voice mail Tuesday night. D'oh! Deserves some freshman-class hazing.
Adam Kinzinger: Top Gun! An Air Force pilot who toured Iraq and Afghanistan, the new GOP congressman from Chicago is single -- and at 32, one of the Hill's youngest.
Raul Labrador: Wasn't he a character in a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Actually, the Puerto Rico native, an upset GOP victor in Idaho, just has a really awesome name, that's all.
BAD FOR GOSSIP
Krystal Ball: No one paid attention to the spunky 28-year-old Virginia Democrat's campaign until old photos emerged of her at a raunchy holiday party -- but by then, alas, it was too late. We're hoping she can build on her gossip-gains for 2012.
Jim Oberstar: The soul man of C-SPAN knew how to bust out the Byron quotations for those Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meetings and spoke mellifluous French. We'll fondly recall the defeated 19-term Minnesota Democrat's Pepe Le Pew-style flirtation with the pretty French economist testifying about the stimulus.
Joe DioGuardi: Is Kara from "American Idol" totally jealous that Ayla Brown's dad got elected to the Senate this year and hers (N.Y.'s GOP nominee) didn't?
Linda McMahon: Because the Capitol would be a lot more fun if Mad Dog Vachon and Undertaker dropped by.
Carly Fiorina: So many bad hairdos here in Washington. She would have had to say something.
Alexi Giannoulias: Single and 34, ladies -- and kind of hot, in that hot-for-the-youngest-guy-in-the-Senate way. Except that now the Illinois Democrat won't be.
Christine O'Donnell: Sigh.
Alvin Greene: Ditto.
Some speak of a Republican tidal wave knocking out vulnerable one- and two-termers. We know, though, that these reps blew it by falling short on the "good for gossip" potential we awarded them back in '06 and '08:
Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.): A Mary Kay cosmetics saleswoman who failed to tool around D.C. in a pink Cadillac. Lost her seat.
John Hall (D-N.Y.): Musician, best known for penning the soft-rock '70s hit "Still the One," and as one of the naked guys from that Orleans album cover. But he largely stopped singing after his 2006 election, and appears to have kept his clothes on. Lost his seat.
Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.): A live wire best known before her '06 win for getting hustled out of a GOP rally when she stripped to a T-shirt with an anti-Bush message. In office, though, like Hall, she kept her clothes on. Lost her seat.
Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.): Heads turned when this strapping single guy entered Congress with the class of '06. He squandered his eligible-bachelor credentials by promptly getting married. Lost his seat.
The Reliable Source
| November 3, 2010; 8:06 PM ET
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