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A 'cute' controversy in the 1st district

Ben Pershing

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.

Last week, Ball -- a political novice who runs an educational software company -- released an offbeat campaign video called "On the Road With Rob":

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."

By Ben Pershing  |  July 21, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Rob Wittman  
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Comments

yeah, this is a pretty weak attempt to gain some traction for the Ball campaign...

Posted by: ChrisD4 | July 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

LOL! This is too funny. Here we are in the Washington Post...in a state where Perriello and Nye are running talking about Krystal Ball. And why? Because she has actual charisma. I see a lot of pain in Rob Wittman's future.

Posted by: MarcoDisco | July 21, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"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.

She isn't playing games...you obviously missed the point of what Ball was trying to do, which doesn't really surprise me. Congressman Wittman chooses not to identify with us, chooses not to be actively engaged with us. Ball chooses the opposite. I love what she did, and will continue to support her, and her campaign.

Posted by: Lebowski1 | July 21, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

You've gotta love a candidate named Krystal Ball.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL...what a joke. Sexist because he said she was being "cute"? Don't flatter yourself Ms. Ball. He wasn't referring to your looks. You can tell the Democrats are desperate...race card, class warfare, gender card, blame Bush...everything but their record. Please don't look at their record.

Posted by: conservativemaverick | July 21, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

This is just plain silly. It's yet another example of the trivialization of politics and the news by the Internet.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself wasting space on this non-story.

Posted by: dl49 | July 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

agree with him, more important things to talk about. hope this is a joke, she is clearly looking for anything to cling to this cycle.

he obviously says the tactic is cute NOT her. A no story and no chance for her

Posted by: indyvoter2 | July 21, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

agree with him, more important things to talk about. hope this is a joke, she is clearly looking for anything to cling to this cycle.

he obviously says the tactic is cute NOT her. A no story and no chance for her

Posted by: indyvoter2 | July 21, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

It sort of begs the question...if, as Werderman says, "his boss was known for working hard"--why the heck does nobody shows up for work at his district offices?

Posted by: ViennaBelle | July 21, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

At least she knew it was coming.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Why would Mr & Mrs Ball name their daughter Krystal? That's messed up.

Posted by: dubvee88 | July 21, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

It should be clear to anyone reading this article that Werderman's use of cute is directly related to this rather ridiculous campaign tactic or stunt of using a cardboard cut out. Mr. Werderman by no means appears or should be interpreted as using the term in a sexist manner. Wittman's opponents and the media are blowing this highly out of proportion.

Posted by: rebeccacarelli | July 22, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

As a woman from this district the fact that Werderman is being bashed and called a "sexist" by Ball followers for making, what I find to be, an accurate statement with an obvious sarcastic tone towards Ball's viral gimmick, has lost Ball my vote. I don't want to be associated with her, her campaign stunts or her crazy supporters that have tried to create a story out of nothing.

Posted by: lillymama | July 22, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

ViennaBelle - maybe no one was at work at his district office because they went there on July 5th which was the federal holiday this year.

Dimwit...

Posted by: JTR555 | July 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Is Ball honestly running for Congress or participating in a sorority skit? As a female, I am embarrassed by Ball's gamey attempt to "gain support" walking around with a cut-out of a respected Virginia Congressman. Perhaps if she would avoid "cutesy" videos she would garner more respect in the 1st District. Also, a pathetic attempt to twist Werderman's words -- which to any educated individual were obviously directed towards the video -- not Ball as an individual. I've found this article and "skit" to be quite comical indeed.

Posted by: acervelo | July 22, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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