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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lawmakers in Costume

Oregon Rep. David Wu apologized Tuesday for sending photos of himself dressed in a tiger costume to aides, calling that and other behavior last fall “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” as his mental health suffered.

“You shouldn’t ever send photographs of yourself in a Halloween costume, something you intend to wear to a private party a couple of nights later,” the Democrat said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” It’s just not professional, even when you’re joshing around with your kids a couple of nights before Halloween. I did send those photographs. It was unprofessional, inappropriate.”

Wu, however, is far from the first lawmaker to don a costume.

From Newsweek, March 12, 1979:
Before 500 guests at an annual costume party in Dallas, feisty Republican Sen. John Tower came on as Superman, his scarlet cape fluttering limply. "I'm a man who stands for truth, justice and the American way - always have and always will," he announced, strutting about during a brief man-of-steel skit.

From The New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 17, 1999:
Gen. George Patton had a well-deserved reputation for whipping the troops into shape before a major battle. So, when the House Republican leadership decided to kick a few keisters among the GOP rank and file, they enlisted the famous general to give the pep talk. Well, sort of.

With the general no longer available, they called on Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-Chackbay, to give his best impression of Patton. Or maybe it was Tauzin giving his best impression of actor George C. Scott's Oscar-winning performance in the 1971 movie.

Decked out in full Pattonesque military regalia, his chest gleaming with medals and a riding crop at his side, Tauzin has videotaped what he hopes will be a stirring speech for a closed-door meeting this morning of the GOP caucus.

From Roll Call, October 30, 2000:
Both sides are trying to read the tea leaves in the wake of House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt's (D-Mo.) bizarre decision to go to Thursday's Caucus meeting with his face painted like Mel Gibson in the movie " Braveheart."

Trying to rally the troops on the eve of the elections, Gephardt camped out in a basement room before the meeting to get dressed. After slapping red and blue make-up on his dimples, he used a plaid blanket for a quilt and slipped into some plastic breastplate armor.

Gephardt ceremoniously charged into the meeting with a spear raised in the air, whipping Democrats into a frenzy. "It's time to pick up the spears!" he yelled.

From The Washington Post, October 30, 2009:

Halloween is the day you can let your freak flag fly.

Just ask Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who sits through two-hour makeup sessions to transform himself into Frankenstein. His staff Twittered photos of him in the get-up last week, says spokeswoman Kate Dickens, alongside an intern who got roped into the role of his big-haired bride.