A 'cute' controversy in the 1st district
Is Krystal Ball "cute"? And if she is, can the campaign of Rep. Rob Wittman (R) point it out?
These are the questions currently preoccupying a handful of Virginia political blogs, as the Democrat Ball mounts her uphill challenge to Wittman in the Republican-leaning 1st congressional district, which stretches from Fauquier Country down along the coast to Newport News.
Taking Wittman to task for allegedly being difficult for constituents to reach, the video shows Ball carting a cardboard cutout of Wittman around the district, introducing "your congressman" to folks who wouldn't otherwise get the chance to see him.
The Wittman campaign was not amused.
Speaking to the conservative blog Bearing Drift, Wittman spokesman Casey Werderman said his boss was known for working hard and that the Ball campaign should be more serious.
"As cute as our opponent may think she is with a life size cut out of Rob, I think the vast majority believe that now is not a time to be playing games!" Werderman said.
Now, some context: Ball, 28, has gotten some attention for her looks. "We've seen the future of The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People list, and it has Krystal Ball all over it," NBCWashington.com reported last year. The Wonkette blog headlined a Ball item, "Check It Out, Hot Person Running for Congress."
So when Werderman dropped the "cute" line, some pro-Ball bloggers pounced.
"Wittman for Congress makes sexist remarks about female opponent, Krystal Ball," wrote The Farm Team, a group that promotes Democratic women candidates in Virginia. A diarist at the Democratic blog Blue Virginia opined, "I'd say that the Wittman campaign is feeling quite threatened these days by Krystal Ball's ... candidacy that they felt that they needed to dismiss her as a candidate through an extremely sexist comment."
But Werderman tells The Washington Post that his comments have been wildly misinterpreted. He was calling Ball's campaign stunt -- not Ball herself -- "cute," and not in a good way.
"That's absolutely ridiculous," Werderman said of the allegation that he was being sexist. "This is absolutely no time for games. What [Democrats] want to focus on is something like this. We've got way more important things to talk about."
July 21, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Rob Wittman
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