For a moment in mid-October, it seemed like Krystal Ball would be just another laughing-stock politician, says Noreen Malone at Slate. When photos emerged of the Virginia congressional candidate dressed as a "sexy Santa" fellating a sex toy attached to her then-husband's face, things didn't look good. But the 28-year-old Democrat's response, an "unapologetic but defiant" statement of umbrage, positioned her as something else entirely. "Society has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere," she wrote at The Huffington Post. "Sooner or later, this is a reality that has to be faced, or many young women in my generation will not be able to run for office." With this bold "manifesto of Facebook-generation feminism," writes Malone, Ball begins to resemble another mainstream, female politician: "Ball may be the left's answer to Sarah Palin." Here's an excerpt:
It's not just that Ball's young and attractive, plays up her traditional femininity (without styling herself as overtly sexy), and talks at every chance about how concern for her daughter's future is motivating her campaign. Or that her husband, like Todd Palin before him, is an active and supportive but unofficial campaign adviser. It's also her emphasis on fiscal responsibility. She's a CPA but also implies it's the housewifely role of balancing the family books that helps qualify her for reining in wasteful government spending. (Ball's first TV ad is particularly Grizzly-esque, as she herself pointed out to me, though she says it isn't so on purpose.) Or that, like so many of [the so-called Mama Grizzlies], she's brand-new to politics but had the jet-propulsive self-confidence to run without waiting her turn.