Political couple endures stressful election-night outcomes

At least one GOP couple must have been in late-night turmoil election night, as it turns out that the chiefs of staff to Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) are married.

Stevens’s chief of staff is George Lowe; Coleman’s is Jennifer Mies Lowe.

Sens. Stevens and Coleman share the fact that the outcome of their races lingered after election night.

On Wednesday afternoon, Coleman’s race was entering a recount, while Stevens’s race had yet to be called.

The couple also has six-month-old twins.

Neither senator’s office could comment on the stressful night this couple dealt with on Tuesday. “No one’s in the office. They’re all in Minnesota. They’ll be back tomorrow,” said a male aide who answered Coleman’s Washington office phone.

A similar response came from Coleman’s campaign office, where a male receptionist said, “All press is out of the office today.”

Stevens’s D.C. and campaign offices were likewise unavailable for discussion on the matter.


Joe the Plumber not slated to be next ‘bachelor’; He does have two publicists, however

Rumors swirled in recent days that Joe the Plumber (aka Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) could be the next bachelor on ABC’s reality show “The Bachelor.” Joe the Plumber was made famous by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — he and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) mentioned him 25 times in their last debate.
But it isn’t so.

What is true: Wurzelbacher is 34, single, balding and lives in Ohio.

Says the show’s host, Chris Harrison, “Are you serious? I’ve heard nothing about that. On the record, up next is a bachelorette, so unless Joe is one of our 25 men, I doubt it. But maybe he could put on a cocktail dress and be Jane the Plumber and be our bachelorette.”

The now-famous plumber’s publicist, Jim Della Croce of The Press Office in Nashville, said: “I can’t confirm that; that’s nothing that has come to me. As I understand it, it’s a rumor.”

He said he’d have to e-mail it to a second publicist, Tom Tabback, who is with “Joe” much of the time.

Tabback, who described himself as Joe the Plumber’s publisher (they’re working on a book about “American values and the lessons learned from this whole experience”) and business manager, laughed when asked whether Wurzelbacher is being considered for “The Bachelor.”

“No one’s spoken to us about that at all,” he said in a telephone interview.

But would Wurzelbacher jump at the opportunity if ABC approaches him? “I have no idea,” Tabback said. “It sounds a little outlandish to me, but we haven’t talked about it one iota.”

Tabback is apparently very protective of Wurzelbacher. When asked in what city Joe the Plumber resides, he wouldn’t say and remarked, “That’s not going to come out my lips.” (He lives in Holland, Ohio, near Toledo.)

Andy Baldwin, a Navy doctor and show alum, also deflated the rumor and said he had heard nothing about an upcoming Joe the Plumber appearance on the show.

“The Bachelor” resumes in January when Jason Mesnick, the father dumped by DeAnna Pappas in the show’s last season of “The Bachelorette,” will be the show’s new bachelor.



GOP aide is no weenie when it comes to Weiner

Brian Robinson, communications director for Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), who had no serious race this week, offered campaign advice to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who has been weighing a 2010 New York City mayoral bid.

Robinson, who has worked in the office adjacent to Weiner’s on two occasions, said he used to sing loudly through the vent in hopes that Weiner or his aides would hear a campaign slogan of which he’s quite proud:

“My Weiner has a first name, it’s M-A-Y-O-R.”

Robinson offers Weiner the advice free of charge, but said next time it’ll cost him.

Robinson had another observation — he noticed, between those walls, the uncanny smell of bacon coming from Weiner’s office. “Nothing else smells as good as bacon,” he said, noting that the smell perplexed him considering that Weiner is Jewish. “Some people wore yarmulkes in there. It’s just strange to me. I’m not sure the congressman was eating bacon, but someone definitely was. There’s no one in the history of pork production that loves bacon more than I do. I know what it was.”
(Note: Weiner has never professed to be an Orthodox Jew.)

In the end, said Robinson, it’s his slogan advice he wants Weiner to have, not his thoughts on Jewish dietary laws. “I swear he’d be living in Gracie Mansion right now if they’d just listened a little harder to the advice on the other side of that door,” he said.

Weiner’s office had no comment by press time.


Viva Chuck Todd gets scrapped

As of the end of election night, there will be no more Viva Chuck Todd, the fan site based on NBC Political Director Chuck Todd.

The website’s San Diego-based creator, Paul Chamberlain, has decided that he has had enough of it and wants to concentrate on his spin-off site, Viva Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host with the new show.

“I’m canning Viva Chuck Todd after the election provided there’s a clear winner,” Chamberlain wrote ITK in an e-mail. “Viva Rachel Maddow will continue on for the time being. Chuck jumps the shark on election night and it’s the perfect time to put a bow on it.”


CNN goes extraterrestrial as election night wears on

7:15 p.m.: CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin appears as a hologram in a CNN studio in New York while she is reporting from Chicago. She looks like a Jedi from “Star Wars.”

“You’re the first one that we’ve beamed in,” Wolf Blitzer declared.

“It’s like I’m following the tradition of Princess Leia,” Yellin said.

“You’re a terrific hologram — thanks very much,” Blitzer gushed, calling it “amazing technology.”