- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2009

After the fanfare surrounding first lady Michelle Obama‘s new wax figure at Madame Tussauds in downtown Washington Tuesday, we noticed something peculiar: No Republican first ladies have had the honor of being immortalized in wax at the museum.

Besides Mrs. Obama, the Tussauds inventory here includes a figure of Hillary Rodham Clinton and, not one, but two gloved and ladylike Jackie Kennedys.

But nary a Nancy Reagan, Betty Ford or Barbara or Laura Bush.

“There have not been enough guest requests” for, say, a Mrs. Reagan or Mrs. Ford, museum marketing director Rosemary Del Prado said Tuesday. The museum solicits feedback via its Web site and a gift-shop kiosk and asks visitors to nominate people to be included for exhibit, she explained.

“There was overwhelming support for a Michelle Obama figure because of her being a fashion icon and mother,” said Ms. Del Prado, who insisted that the popular tourist attraction is strictly nonpartisan.

Others are not so sure.

“Both American history and the American people have embraced Republican first ladies,” said Republican National Committee Communications Director Trevor Francis. “It’s only fitting that the wax museum do the same.”

Observing that according to consistent polling data, all first ladies are “viewed positively by a majority of Americans,” Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway said, “If they are going to be buried next to their husbands, they should be immortalized forever [alongside] them in wax.”

Some sniffing around at the museum on Wednesday revealed that we at Green and Glover HQ weren’t the only ones who noticed the apparent snub of GOP first ladies.

Chalking up the omissions to “leftist propaganda” and “swaying to whatever is popular,” Justin Powers of Leesburg, Va. declared, “They should have had Laura Bush next to her husband, and Nancy [Reagan] has a lot of good sound bites, like ‘Just say no.’ ”

People from as far away as the Great Plains are voicing their displeasure. After reading online about the unveiling of the Michelle Obama figure, Elizabeth Butts of Iowa was moved to e-mail the museum.

“While I appreciate the historical significance in the Obama presidency, I feel it necessary to note that of the First Ladies you have featured in wax (3), none [has] been a Republican,” she wrote. “Being a Republican female, I feel underrepresented by not having Nancy Reagan or Laura Bush in wax. I completely understand that the Bush presidency was unpopular, however, the Reagan administration was not, and Mrs. Reagan is a well loved First Lady. … I just want equal representation.”

Mrs. Butts received a response from Elizabeth Propper, marketing and promotions coordinator at Madame Tussauds D.C., who must not have read the memo about the museum’s democratic selection process.

“I was actually discussing that very thing with a co-worker today and basically, the process is that it is decided upon by a group of people, and then others at the senior level also have their two cents,” the museum staffer wrote. “I’m hoping we at least get Bill O’Reilly soon. But thanks for your email and I will make sure your opinion is heard.”

G2 is wondering if Bill will beat Barbara into wax.

Blonde scoop

Before our museum adventure yesterday, we spotted Krista Johnson, star of the upcoming reality-TV show “Blonde Charity Mafia” walking her dog, Rue, down Wisconsin Avenue. The sweatsuit-clad Miss Johnson gamely did her civic duty after Rue did his duty all over the grass outside the Social Safeway.

It seems she has not let being a TV star go to her head. Kudos to Krista for keepin’ it real.

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover with a tip or to request event coverage, please e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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