Dodd’s sharp, or blunt, campaign move

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is using an article in The New Republic about New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) to help boost his own presidential campaign.

On Monday, Christy Setzer, a spokeswoman from Dodd’s campaign, forwarded the article to reporters. On the top of the e-mail she wrote, “Thought you’d enjoy The New Republic’s piece on Bill Richardson ... feel free to call me for more.”

The article refers to Richardson’s appearance as an “unmade bed.” The author also notices him “tickling” a young woman’s scalp, and highlights his use of touch to connect with voters.  

Dodd is trying to nudge his numbers higher — he’s under one percent in Iowa and New Hampshire polls.

Campaigns often send out stories about opponents. “It’s known that people bring attention to unflattering stories about other campaigns, but not as blatant as what [Setzer is] doing,” remarked a Democratic presidential campaign operative. “In the last Iowa poll that came out, [Dodd] had no discernible support. He didn’t even register one percent. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

After much e-mail coaxing and initially suggesting “there is no story here,” Setzer eventually wrote, “We have, on occasion, pointed out articles currently and conspicuously in the public domain, as a clipping service for a handful of reporters who seem to appreciate the gesture.”

Richardson’s campaign had no comment on Dodd’s gambit.


Former Democratic fundraiser writes about — no, really — your poop

We know life in Washington can seem like it’s going into the toilet, but is a book about poop too much for our national consciousness? 

 Josh Richman, 32, a former Democratic fundraiser who worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2000 election cycle, has joined forces with gastroenterologist Anish Sheth, a former classmate at Brown University, to write a book about poop: “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” published by Chronicle Publishing. The book is being placed in bookstores as a Father’s Day gift option. HarperCollins wanted to publish the book, but the authors chose Chronicle.

The 100-page bathroom reader (cost: $9.95) is not a metaphor for politics.

“It’s really about poo,” explains Carrie Foster, a public relations executive at Linda Roth Public Relations. “We’re flush with support.”

The poopy book party took place Monday night at LeftBank in Adams Morgan, where guests enjoyed sushi and drinks. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) showed up after a long evening of votes and shut the place down. The guest list — an attractive cross section of 300 political types — included a number of Capitol Hill aides as well as Nathan Daschle (son of former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota), Jimmy Williams (Wine & Spirits Council) and Nicole Boxer, daughter of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Richman, who works for a clean energy fuel cell start-up company in Palo Alto, Calif., said the idea for the book began in jest, but turned serious and more medically focused when he came together with Sheth. They decided to write a humorous book that explains the various types of poos, with medical explanations and potential cures.

What has surprised Richman most? “Instead of having the visceral negative reaction, I’ve been shocked by how many people suddenly feel free to talk about poo,” he said.

His advice: “Eat more fiber, and be aware, not just of your poo but all bodily functions. If something isn’t right, check with your physician.”

The book includes metaphors for poo and at least one political reference to “the hanging chad,” which will not be described in this family newspaper. As Chapman explained, “If you discover one, not even the U.S. Supreme Court can step in to save you.” We’ll leave it at that.

For more information about “What’s Your Poo Telling you?” visit www.drstool.com .


Rep. Clay’s braces come off — for good

The metal wires on Rep. Lacy Clay’s (D-Mo.) bottom teeth were the remnants of his sentence with braces — until last week. Now, he can flash his pearly whites. His teeth are free and clear of wires.

“Freedom,” he gushed about his newly emancipated chompers. “I can chew gum easier. I don’t feel those tracks rubbing against my gums.”

Clay’s braces came off prematurely. “I went in to my dentist and insisted that they take them off,” he said last week. “I was sick of them. After getting them tightened, they would hurt and irritate my gums.”

His teenage daughter, Carol, who also had braces, first inspired Clay to get them. Hers have been off for months, and she recently flashed her newly beautiful smile at the First Lady’s Luncheon, where she was chosen to be a hostess by the Congressional Wives Club.

“It was time to do something else,” Clay said, explaining why he had to have the braces off.  


Rep. Serrano will not shave off his mustache

Despite the fact that his congressional twin, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), has shaved off his mustache, Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) has declared he will not change his look even if it would make him look more like Gingrey again.

“Only when he comes in with his natural hair color would I consider it,” Serrano joked, referring to Gingrey’s rusty locks.
Serrano has had his mustache since he was 17.

In response, Gingrey quoted the famous words that Julius Caesar uttered to Brutus, his friend and murderer: “Et tu, Jose?”