Wife of Invention

Posted January 11, 2008 at 5:39pm

Much has been made on the presidential campaign trail about former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney’s shellacked locks and the pricey trims of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). But now lady politicos may have a new best friend, and this one with a Senatorial pedigree: the “Blo & Go.”

[IMGCAP(1)]The product, which is being promoted by Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman’s wife, Laurie, makes getting that perfect blow-out possible without a trip to a salon. A former runway model, Laurie Coleman came up with the idea after rigging a clothes hanger on doors to hold her hair dryer and free up her hands for styling when she attended auditions. The device, which went on the market last week for $19.99, has a base that sticks onto any flat surface with a bendable arm to hold a hair dryer in place, leaving users’ hands free to create a flawlessly coiffed hairdo.

Four years in the making, Coleman says the product is perfect for political women on the go. “You have 45 minutes and you have to be down and ready for a dinner,” says Coleman of traveling with her husband on official business. “It absolutely comes in handy. Otherwise, you get out of the shower and your hair is completely wet.”

The product has its own infomercial and Web site, bloandgo.com, and Coleman says she’s hoping to garner mass-market sales. As a first-time inventress, Coleman is adding another line to an already eclectic résumé that includes acting stints along with modeling and being a political spouse.

While Coleman says the invention is largely directed at females, she coyly admits her husband just may have used the Blo & Glo a time or two. “He doesn’t really blow his hair out,” Coleman says of her supportive hubby. “I do keep mine up. He may have turned it on to run his fingers through.”

Tina Who? News that former New Yorker editor Tina Brown would pen a tome on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) caused a big stir in publishing circles last week. But HOH hears that the reaction in Clinton’s camp to Brown’s planned “Clinton Chronicles” was more of a yawn than a gasp.

One Clintonite tells HOH that the folks around the Senator and presidential candidate are planning to give the author just as much access as they did most previous authors of books on the same topic — exactly zero.

“Another day, another book,” the Clinton-o-phile says.

Authors like Ed Klein, Jeff Gerth, Sally Bedell Smith and Carl Bernstein have been there, done that on the subject of Clinton.

And another reason HOH suspects those in Hillary-land are shrugging: Brown’s book is set to debut in 2010, safely after the presidential election they’re hoping their boss wins.

Don’t Bet On It. Please? They haven’t even been elected to Congress yet, but two Democratic House candidates already have one old saw of Hill life down pat. Darcy Burner, the Democratic candidate in Washington’s 8th district, and Marge Krupp, the Democratic candidate in the Wisconsin’s 1st district, have entered into one of those clichéd, cutesy wagers for which (usually elected) Members are so famous, this one on the outcome of Saturday’s Seahawks-Packers playoff game.

The stakes, too, couldn’t be any cheesier: a slab of Wisconsin cheese versus a week’s supply of Seattle coffee.

Putting on her political analyst hat, HOH would think aspiring Members would be running on a platform of bringing change to Washington. Cliched sports bets involving hometown foodstuffs? They’re another example of Beltway business as usual.

Holy Cow, That’s a Fight. Two Republicans vying to replace former Speaker Dennis Hastert aren’t just slinging the usual mud at each other — they’ve turned to cow pies.

Illinois state Sen. Chris Lauzen’s campaign started the brawl with a direct-mail piece depicting dead cows, an homage to opponent Jim Oberweis’ dairy operation, and telling readers about a $21,000 Federal Election Commission penalty the Oberweis campaign incurred in 2004 after Oberweis appeared in a TV ad for his dairy company while campaigning for office.

The Oberweis campaign didn’t take the attack sitting down. Instead, it put its best, er, hoof forward. “I’ve seen cow chips that looked better. And by the way, seeing as how there’s not an udder among the ‘cows’ pictured on that mail piece, it is clear that they are — like the piece itself — all BULL,” responded a fictitious spokescow named Mary R. Holstein in a cheeky release last Thursday.

The response was the brainchild of Oberweis spokesman Bill Pascoe, who says he just couldn’t resist the bovine puns. So far, the Lauzen campaign hasn’t responded, he says (and didn’t return HOH’s phone call either). “Do you come back with a spokesbull?” Pascoe joked.

Shira Toeplitz and Lauren W. Whittington contributed to this report.

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