Elections 2012

May 28, 2012

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 Semi-naked politicians, yikes! (Warning: lots of photos and video)

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In the U.S., it's usually Twitter or a beer-goggled Facebook post that coughs up a half-naked politician's pic. Just ask Anthony Weiner.

In Mexico, however, an upstart congressional candidate in Jalisco is bringing attention to her party and herself -- on purpose! -- with a billboard bearing (and baring) a topless photo of her wearing nothing from the waist up but a hand over her boob.

Orale!

PRD candidate Natalia Juarez says she knows some will be offended by her out- there campaign, but that's not her purpose. She wants to attract the attention (check, did that!) of people who "also want to see things differently." {Cute. Check, did that!)

The photo of her with six other women similarly shirtless and hiding their breasts with an arm crossed over their chests appears under the campaign slogan "Dare to build a New National Project without prejudices."

Below them it reads: "In the name of all for real change."

As far as political ad campaigns go, the 34-year- old university professor is succeeding. She's got people talking.

And she's promising even more "provocative" pics.

(Alert: Pun ahead!) Most voters in the United States could only hope for that kind of up-front transparency from candidates here. In fact, in most cases, just the opposite happens on this side of the Rio Grande. Here, when politicians bare all, or come close to it, it usually is the first step on what turns into a quick slide down a greased garbage chute that ends with said politician lying in a disgraced heap in the career gutter.

Examples:

The infamous Mr. Weiner, former New York congressman, who snapped cell phone pics of himself wearing nothing but a towel at the “House Members Gym” (Now there's a name that needs some rethinking.) and "sexted" them to former porn star Ginger Lee. What could go wrong?

New Jersey Freeholder (sort of like a councilman) Lou Magazzu, who emailed nude pics of himself to a woman, who then allegedly shared them with one of his political enemies, who (shocker!) posted them online. Imagine Magazzu's surprise! What innocent sharer of digital nude self- portraits could have expected that outcome?

Oregon Congressman David Wu's career imploded over a viral photograph he emailed staffers showing him in a tiger costume, hands raised like kitty claws. (Grrr-owwwwl!) Like the tiger he hoped to be, Wu clung to his seat for a short time after the pictures made the rounds of the Internet, but an ugly accusation of an "aggressive sexual encounter" by the 18-year-old daughter of one of the 56-year-old politician's campaign donor proved final.

Maybe it's just the digital versions that cause problems.

Long before GOP rising star Scott Brown ran for, and won, Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat, he posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine. When the 1982 photos of the then-22- year-old Boston College law student surfaced during the campaign it didn't hurt him at all. Instead of slinking off to political ignominy, he waltzed up to Capitol Hill.

Of course, Brown's and Juarez's success at getting people to focus on the, ahem, issues, is sure to spur copycats. In fact, it has already begun. A 23-year-old Polish politician is trying to draw attention to her party by stripping in a TV commercial.

So this may be a new form of campaigning, and a lesson for other politicians, as well -- voters may be willing to pay attention to the naked truth, after all.