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Monthly Archives: June 2009

HuffPo #6: Finally! A New Euphemism!

Check out my latest on the Huffington Post:

Finally!  A New Euphemism!

We’ve had a lively potpourri of sex scandals recently, but none can match the transformative power of the Mark Sanford affair.  Finally, we have a new euphemism for extramarital relations and an artful one at that: “hiking the Appalachian trail.”  For those of you doubting the coolness of this new entry into the American erotic-political vernacular, I offer the following sample conversation between two political insiders.

POLITICAL INSIDER #1: “Have you heard anything from Senator Smith?”

POLITICAL INSIDER #2: “The senator? Not much. But rumor has it, he’s been hiking that old Appalachian trial lately.”

POLITICAL INSIDER #1:  “Well, I’ll be damned!”



See!  Try it for yourself, and you’ll see how much fun it is.

Seriously? . . . and Mark Sanford too.

And then there were two.  And in one week! Who will be the next politician to get hit with ye olde sex scandal?  Personally, I’ve got my fingers crossed for Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and not just because it’d be cool to see a reverse gender scandal.  Also because she’s crazy.

Ah, schadenfreude!

By the way, if you haven’t seen Sanford’s press conference, it’s a doozy.  He actually comes across as vaguely likeable and sincere.  But then he’s a politician.  That’s what he’s supposed to do.

Why is it always with a staffer?

As Edwards, McGreevey, and Clinton go, so goes dear old John Ensign (R-NV).  The Senator who once worked himself up into a froth of self righteousness over President Clinton’s misconduct recently admitted to a 10-month-old affair with a married former campaign staffer, 46-year-old Cynthia Hampton.  Ah, irony!  As my novel (see Amazon link to the right) revolves around the (fake) extramarital affair of a prominent politician, I am all too happy to tackle this delicious topic once again.  Our question of the day: why is it always with a staffer?

Reason #1: Politicians usually don’t hire ugly people
Politicians are image conscious creatures.  So are the people who work for them.  They have to be.  And that is why they will usually hire an attractive person over an equally-qualified unattractive person if given that choice.  I have no proof to back this theory up, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Reason #2: Geography
The first key to having sex is getting a sympathetic person in the same room as you.  For a politician, staffers fulfill this geographic qualification quite nicely — often more effectively than their spouse.

Reason #3: Mixed Signals
Remember the first time you realized that someone had a crush on you?  Your initial reaction may have been something like this: “No wonder they’ve been acting so nice to me!”  Well, guess what?  When you’re the boss, everyone acts nice to you. It’s easy to see how this “niceness” can be misinterpreted as romantic interest.  Incidentally, this can work both ways.  Put yourself inside the brain of a political staffer.  When your entire life revolves around your boss, when your boss’s happiness is your primary concern, when a phone call from your boss is the most important part of your day, more important than the call from your actual spouse, it is easy to imagine how your romantic/platonic wires might get crossed.

Book Pimping on Hollywood Blvd.


For those of you looking to stand on a street corner and handsell your book, I must recommend Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, a couple blocks east of Highland Ave. While I’m not promising you a stunning success rate, I do believe you’ll have some fun, at least so long as you have a sense of humor.  And even if you don’t enjoy yourself, you certainly will have some stories to tell.

This past weekend, I spent time pounding the Hollywood pavement, dressed in my presidential best, handing out fliers to promote my book.  Perhaps the fact that I had a camera crew filming my every move lent me an air of credibility; perhaps it was the suit; probably it was both.  One highlight was when I found myself pitching the book to a girl who was trying to pitch me. She was handing out cards for Psychiatry: An Industry of Death.  This is a museum in Hollywood founded by Scientologists that, needless to say, has a rather negative impression of the psychiatry profession.  When we mentioned to this girl that our documentary was ultimately going to be on YouTube, she mentioned that she was planning on eating a cockroach on YouTube.  Only in LA …

Scandal Plan plugged on Left, Right & Center

Exciting news. On Friday, The Scandal Plan got a rave mention on one of my favorite radio shows, KCRW’s Left, Right & Center.  Host Matt Miller called the book “a great fun summer political read,” and called me “a big new talent.”  Not too shabby, eh?  Click here to listen (the plug comes at the end of the show, at the 27 minute mark).