- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 11, 2010

FROM THE UH-OH DESK

“Gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis will hold a brief press conference at 11:00 a.m. Thursday outside of 895 Fifth Ave., the apartment house of former Governor Eliot Spitzer. Davis and Spitzer were last associated when Davis supplied high-priced call girls for Spitzer while he was … governor, and attorney general - the top law enforcement official in New York state.”

“Davis will outline her proposal to cancel the pensions of Spitzer, former Comptroller Alan Hevesi, [state] Sen. Hiram Monserrate and former state police Superintendent Harry Corbitt, all of whom were forced to leave office. These tax-exempt pensions will cost $355,000 per year.”

- A missive directly from Ms. Davis - one-time “Manhattan Madam” turned “personal freedom candidate” now running for New York governor.

14 MINUTES, 59 SECONDS

Eric, we hardly knew ye: There was drama, trauma, bombast and ballyhoo. Yes, former New York congressman Eric Massa riveted the nation for a time by sparring with the White House, resigning from office, sharing naughty tales and introducing the term “tickle fights” to the political discourse - all in the space of about 72 hours. But alas, Mr. Massa’s 15 minutes of fame has ebbed away and his trajectory is complete, some say. It could prove a cautionary tale.

“He had about five minutes of fame. Not 15, not 10 - but five. And you can blame one thing. The failure of the Massa ‘brand.’ He has a problem. He doesn’t have a target market anymore. Democrats don’t like him now, and Republicans don’t like him. They think he’s a little strange. So Mr. Massa is out of the spotlight,” marketing research psychologist and Fox News contributor John Tantillo tells Inside the Beltway.

“So now we have a one-time lawmaker who appeals to no one, and he has no consistent message. Huge problem. No one can figure out what he stands for, and in the big picture, that’s a real pity,” adds Mr. Tantillo, who is also author of the new book, “People Buy Brands Not Companies.”

JUST SO YOU KNOW

Camelot is kaput, apparently. “Is the Kennedy dynasty over in Massachusetts?” asks a Rasmussen Poll. Well, uh, yeah. The survey of 500 likely voters conducted March 8 reveals that 58 percent of the respondents said that indeed, that particular familial holding has faded. Seven out of 10, meanwhile, approve of the job Sen. Scott Brown is doing, and half even agree that media coverage of the newly minted Massachusetts Republican is “about right.” And note to longtime lawmakers: 53 percent also agreed that it would be “better if most incumbents were defeated.”

OPPORTUNISTS STRIKE

Here’s one reason why Florida Gov.Charlie Crist may want to lay off the mention of back waxes and expensive hairdos when attacking his opponent, fellow Republican Marco Rubio, as the pair vie for a U.S. Senate seat from the Sunshine State. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) already has turned Mr. Crist’s damning “back wax-gate” appearance on Fox News Channel on Monday night into an instant campaign spot of sorts.

“This is what the Florida primary has devolved into,” says the DNC’s gleeful motto.

The spot features Mr. Crist rambling on about Mr. Rubio’s purported $130 hairdo/back wax, punctuated by a pop-up image of Mr. Rubio, the signature scratching sound of wax-based hair removal and a cartoon “Ouch!” just for good measure.

The video footage is being circulated by DNC press secretary Hari Sevugan. Yes, it’s on YouTube.

BUMPER PATROL

“Don’t act stupid. We have politicians for that”

Bumper sticker spotted in Olney, Md.

NEWS FROM WILMINGTON

Does Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. miss his old Senate seat - the one he held on behalf of his beloved Delaware for 36 years? Maybe. But someone has come along who could give Mr. Biden, uh, pause. That would be straightforward conservative Christine

O’Donnell - who on Wednesday announced her candidacy in the special election to fill Mr. Biden’s old perch. She is adamant about bringing the “national anti-Washington insurgency” to Delaware.

“I’m running because our nation’s founding principles of individual liberty and free enterprise are no longer viewed by our leaders as indispensable,” Ms. O’Donnell says. “I’m running because the people of Delaware deserve a representative who will stand up to the Washington elites and fight back against a Congress and White House intent on saddling us with their reckless spending, unbearable taxes and unfair policies that stifle our freedom and weigh down future generations with a debt that will shackle them for the rest of their lives.”

Ms. O’Donnell may seem familiar; she is also a political commentator who has duked it out with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and HBO’s Bill Maher, and appeared on the friendlier turf over on Fox News Channel.

“I’m one of six children raised by parents who taught me that while life can be hard, hard work will also make life better,” she adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 87 percent of the world’s Internet users say online access is a “basic fundamental right of all people.”

• 71 percent of those who have no Internet access agree.

• 78 percent of users overall say the Internet has given them “more freedom.”

• 55 percent say they “can cope without the Internet.”

• 53 percent say the Internet “should never be regulated” by any form of government.

• 49 percent said the Internet was not a safe place to “express their personal opinions.”

• 48 percent felt it was a safe place.

Source: A BBC World Survey of 27,973 adults in 26 countries, including the U.S., conducted Nov. 30, 2009 to Feb. 7 and released Tuesday.

Announcements, pronouncements, after-dinner mints to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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