More sex, please - We're voting

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Red Mom Blue Mom

Welcome to Red Mom Blue Mom, ParentDish's special coverage of the 2008 Presidential election. Each Tuesday through November 4, columnists Rachel Campos-Duffy (Red Mom) and Ada Calhoun (Blue Mom) will take on issues relevant to parents on both sides of the aisle. You can find past Red Mom/Blue Mom posts here.

Blue Mom: Who's sexier, Republicans or Democrats?
By Ada Calhoun

Barack ObamaAfter weeks of financial chaos, a wearying debate, and a bit too much screen time for a certain bald plumber, we've earned a break from tax policy and bailouts. So let's indulge.

I find Republicans hotter than Democrats. That's what I learned from my time on the website, a political Hot-or-Not. Apparently, on a hormonal level, I abandon my Democratic brethren for the cornfed midwestern boys of the Right.

And it's no surprise. Republicans are sexy. They are the deciders! The hawks! The invaders! They have all the really good sex scandals. Even John McCain is reportedly randy; lest we forget, the New York Times reported in February on an indecorous relationship with Vicki Iseman, a lobbyist more than thirty years his junior. Democrats are nerdy and thoughtful and have trouble deciding on a course of action because they stupidly weigh things like "costs" and "benefits." Talk about killing the mood.

And yet, at the dawn of this election, suddenly, the Democratic party was sexy again. Barack Obama is steady, smart, and yet, miraculously, undeniably, hot. As the McCain campaign teased in a July 2008 video called "Obama Love," people covering him tend to fall hard (MSNBC's Chris Matthews famously said of an Obama speech, "I felt this thrill going up my leg"). In their arguably racist "Hot Chicks Dig Obama" video, they mocked the female voters flocking to him. In her first "I Got a Crush on Obama" tribute, Obama Girl said what a lot of us were thinking: intelligent, decent and foxy too? And we hummed along, "B to the A to the R-A-C-K."

Obama had the Sexiest Politician vote all locked up . . . until a certain moose-hunting, pro-drilling sexy librarian entered the picture. When it comes to a sex-appeal-off, Sarah Palin is a contender. Cue the porn film call for a Sarah Palin look alike (rumor has it a Putin look alike was also cast). And, of course, there's now a Sarah Palin sex doll.

I can appreciate the "she's so wrong she's right" argument, but those Katie Couric interviews were like one long cold shower. If she still does it for you, you're made of stronger stuff than I am. And so, my latest crush: Joe Biden. He has a dark past, catnip to those of us who grew up on novels like Jane Eyre, and yet he's funny, flirtatious and supremely confident. Also, he speaks in complete sentences. That, my friends, is a heartthrob we can believe in.

Red Mom: Does sexuality work?
By Rachel Campos-Duffy

Sarah Palin
Does sexuality as a political strategy work? The short answer is yes, in the short term. Despite having a strong night during last week's debate, viewers overwhelmingly gave the upper hand to cool hand Obama. Like Nixon before him, McCain lost in the comparison to his more attractive and telegenic counterpart. But youth and good looks can only take a candidate so far. The proof is in the pudding. Ugly, doughy white guys overwhelmingly occupy the halls of Congress and the Senate. If attractiveness really worked as a political strategy, we'd all be watching C-Span a heck of a lot more often.

In this election, there are only two people with mojo -- Barack and Sarah. In both cases, the American people quickly and sensibly got beyond the superficial. When it came to Sarah Palin, the media helped by launching attacks intended to diminish her appeal. Newsweek even put an unflattering, extreme close-up of Palin on the cover revealing facial hair and cakey make-up that garnered criticism from readers who wondered why her photo was not given the airbrush treatment that Hillary and Obama's covers enjoyed. Republican strategists called foul and surprisingly, many of my blue-mom friends agreed. At last, an issue we could all agree on -- pore and blemish revealing close-ups of women are out of bounds!

More telling about the limits of sexual appeal in politics is that this race is still very close and the short and old melanoma-scarred war veteran, McCain, is still very much in the game against the stylish, much younger and hipper Obama. In a political and economic environment that couldn't be more favorable for Democrats, Obama's cool elegance has not been able to obfuscate McCain's impressive experience, history and character. Obama is outspending McCain nearly three to one and few can deny the media's unprecedented and blatant bias for him. Still, with all that, Obama has not been able to close what should be a mammoth poll gap between them.

Look, I'm a sucker for the GQ look Barack has perfected. My personal favorite are the images of him walking off his airplane with a crisp white shirt and shades, holding his suit jacket as the wind blows. The song just goes off in my head, "Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man." The truth is I AM crazy about sharp dressed men and Obama has definitely become a fashion and pop culture icon. But these are serious times. And in two weeks I'll be voting for John McCain for president.

How much does appearance influence your vote?
Not at all - I'm an issues voter.200 (68.3%)
Some - I think appearance and character are related.84 (28.7%)
Totally - I'll be voting for the hottie!9 (3.1%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.