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In last week’s post I pointed out that in America there is a very large number of established politicians who been in a beauty pageant at one time or another.

I had noted also that this was a feature almost exclusive to the Republican side of the house. 

I can now add an additional six members of Congress to my ever increasing list.  And they aren’t unknown backwoodsmen (or women) either.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W Va) are both alumnae of the Cherry Blossom Princess Program.

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) is a Miss Oil Festival Queen from Laural who was then Junior Miss and first runner up for Miss US Teen.

Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-Michigan) is the sole Democrat on the list so far and was Miss San Carlos (California).

Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) was Duke University’s May Queen

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) was in the top ten of the Miss Anoka Pageant and was crowned Miss Congeniality.  Bless.

A simple list doesn’t help explain why this happens.

The Miss America Organisation – the umbrella group for the pageants stress that it isn’t about being beautiful but is also about poise, public speaking and community involvement.  This only makes it sounds like the school my grandmother went to in Switzerland, which as she never had the slightest interest in standing for election doesn’t help much.

Heather French, a one time Miss America 2000 and now married to Steve Henry the Lt Gov (D) Kentucky said in “The Hill” on May 17th “You are constantly learning the skills a politician needs where you’re going to a room full of hundreds of people and having to make them feel like they want to invite you to Christmas Dinner”

What!  These are not political skills, they are the tricks of the chat show promoter, the snake oil merchant and the fair-ground charlatan through the ages.  Working a room is not about legislation and the process of bringing a bill to the house and the law books.  It’s not standing up for the weak and giving them a voice.  It’s nothing to do with the long hours of patient negotiation and compromising that are the real essential requirements of any politician.  It’s just glitz and teeth and tit tape.  It’s not politics.

And it still does not explain why it is so American or why it is so strongly Republican.

And finally and just for Mr Johnson who suggested her as a Democrat example, here is the sainted Hillary pictured at the moment she realised theoligarchkings had found that picture….

Copyright David Macadam 2010

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