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Word of Mouth
Mon October 31, 2011
Senator Kelly Ayotte Should Doll Up Her Office
Yes, hanging a hunting trophy above the reception desk will remind visitors of the Bugaboo Creek Steak House. But there's lots of pressure to capture the Granite State spirit given the masterful job of her predecessor. U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg's office was jammed with snoeshows, a Wildcat Mountain ski lift car, an enormous wraparound graphic of Mount Washington, and antique hiking signs from various NH state parks.
But you know what Judd never had during his 18 years on Capitol Hill? A Judd doll.
Kelly has a plastic mini-me after not even a year on the job.
Toymaker Herobuilders.com, which is doing a brisk business selling Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin action figures, just took a gamble on the rookie Senator -- giving buyers the option of dressing her in a conservative pant suit or a kinky school girl outfit.
The Kelly Ayotte doll retails for $39.95 and also comes with your choice of seven different pairs of designer earrings.
Political observer Darren Davis, publisher of a series of popular "Female Force" comic books, has branded the doll as "sexist."
"Would this company make a Rick Perry action figure in his Speedos or a Mitt Romney doll wearing his Mormon undergarments?" he rhetorically asked when I interviewed him for New Hampshire Magazine.
When I contacted Sen. Ayotte's office, they skirted the issue (sorry, that pun is a must).
Well, that's being nice. They ignored multiple phone calls and emails. Her D.C. office receptionist, however, laughed for a good 15 seconds when I told her why I was calling. "Pretty surreal, huh?" she asked.
Instead of being afraid of a goofy doll, any decent press secretary could instantly spin this query to their advantage. "Although the Senator is flattered by the attention, she's too busy creating jobs for the American people and protecting the U.S. Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic," the spokesperson could say. "Thank you so much for your inquiry."
Pop star Katy Perry recently joked with USA Weekend magazine about how proud her parents were when they saw their daughter immortalized in plastic. "I think they're just kind of perplexed that this thing that they created has actually done something with her life. When I had a really small limited-edition doll come out, my dad's like, 'You have a doll?! And then he wanted 10."
We can learn a lot from Katy Perry's subtle blend of self-confidence and humility. Go ahead and get a couple of Kelly dolls for your office, Senator. It's OK, really.
Crazy school girl fantasies aside (yikes), the toy poses absolutely no threat to your political street cred!
Darren Garnick is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and contributing humor columnist for New Hampshire Magazine. Find out how the Sen. Ayotte doll could be a strategic asset by exploring Politicians in Plastic.