WASHINGTON, D.C. — For most Americans, the phrase Inaugural Ball conjures up images of the commander in chief and first lady clad in full evening dress taking a waltz on the dance floor. If you’d like to maintain that illusion of grandeur when 2016 rolls around, Politicker humbly suggests you stay home and watch the festivities on television, because the reality is far less glamorous. Last night’s main Inaugural Ball was like a low rent prom complete with a gym-like venue, chips standing in for hors d’oeuvres and 80′s music. Amid all these cut-rate accoutrements and incongruously overdressed guests, we also spotted a basketball legend, a dancing congresswoman and, of course, the president.
A new poll out from the liberal-leaning firm Public Policy Polling shows just how much dislike Congress. While polls typically simply show lawmakers’ low approval ratings, PPP decided to take a different route and poll approval ratings for Congress compared to other wildly unpopular things. Amazingly, Congress polled even lower than a slew of them including lice, traffic jams, root canals, colonoscopies, cockroaches and the ancient Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan.
“When you’re less popular than cockroaches, Genghis Khan, traffic jams, and yes even Nickelback, well, it might be time to reevaluate,” Tom Jensen, PPP’s director, said in a statement accompanying the poll.
In honor of Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi’s entrée into the mayoral race today, we decided to give all of the declared and all-but-official candidates a photographic makeover based on a Buscemi-inspired internet meme.
Too Hot For TV
Writers who craft the infamous “ripped from the headlines” plots on Law & Order: SVU are apparently having trouble keeping up with the ongoing scandal over former CIA Director and retired general David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer. Now that the story has grown to include another general and an FBI agent accused of sending shirtless pictures of himself to a woman the man in charge of the sex crimes-focused cop show sent a tweet begging for mercy. He also threw in Sesame Street muppet Elmo, who had a sex scandal of his own break this week.
“Memo to:FBI/CIA/NATO/SesameStreet From:SVU Writers’ Room–Please slow it down, we’re having a hard time getting this all down,” wrote SVU showrunner Warren Leight this morning.
Girls star Lena Dunham has already shown an interest in local politics, but now, the actress-slash-auteur-slash-author is getting involved in the presidential election. Ms. Dunham taped a video for the Obama campaign filled with plenty of sexual innuendo and her reasons for supporting President Barack Obama.
Just Say No
A new poll of the race to replace term-limited New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released last night included actor Alec Baldwin, who has hinted he might run for mayor. Based on the numbers, Mr. Baldwin might want to abandon his dream of sitting in City Hall. According to the poll, which was conducted by NY1 and Marist College, 66 percent of New York voters don’t want Mr. Baldwin to even try running for mayor.
Team Romney has decried Democrats’ repeated mentions of Big Bird since Mitt Romney brought up the beloved muppet while declaring his intention to end the federal subsidy for PBS during last week’s presidential debate, but the Obama campaign shows no sign that they intend to stop invoking Sesame Street any time soon. In fact, at an Obama rally at Ohio State University this afternoon, rapper will.i.am performed a rendition of the theme song of the popular children’s television show to rile up the president’s supporters.
Leap of Faith
Bob Kerrey’s chances of retaking his old Nebraska Senate seat may be “bleak,” but perhaps he can cheer himself with this hilarious endorsement video his friend, comedian Steve Martin, made for his campaign. Mr. Martin’s clip is a spoof instructional video entitled “Steve Martin Masters Home Crafts, Endorses Bob Kerrey” in which he gives viewers directions for “how to make a wad of paper.”
“You may know me as the actor and comedian, but did you know I’m also a home crafts expert?” Mr. Martin asks as the video begins. “Today, I’m going to show you how to make a wad of paper. A wad of paper can be a lot of fun just to play with around the house or maybe toss expertly into a trash can but who wants to go down to a fancy office building and root around in their dumpster tO find a really good one?”
Lena Dunham, the star of HBO’s hipster coming-of-age comedy Girls, has already dabbled in film, magazine writing and literature, but she seems to increasingly be adding local political activism to her resume. Last night, Ms. Dunham took to Twitter to express her support for the Paid Sick Days bill, which many politicos believe has been unfairly stalled by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
“I’m always sick or convinced I’m sick. A flu shouldn’t cost you your job. That’s why I support #paidsickdays U Can 2,” Ms. Dunham wrote before including a link to an online petition asking Ms. Quinn to allow the bill to come to a vote on the floor of the City Council.
Hasta Nolita Baby
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held an impromptu book signing at indie bookstore McNally-Jackson in Nolita this afternoon. Mr. Schwarzenegger announced the surprise signing via Twitter and in a note on Facebook leading a crowd of over 100 almost exclusively male fans to rush downtown to shake the Governator’s large hand and have him sign copies of his tome Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.