Friday, November 12, 2004

VP Explains Why Soccer Moms Left DNC for GOP

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Joining Dick Cheney's motorcade in Green Bay, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan hoped to capture a unique image during an otherwise scripted campaign visit in September.

Did he ever.

Jumping on and off the press bus, Guldan says he took hundreds of pictures at well-orchestrated photo opportunities.

On the way to Milwaukee, however, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr convinced Cheney to make an unscheduled stop to Glendale to visit local favorite Kopp's Frozen Custard, according to New York Times reporter Rick Lyman.

When Cheney ordered a decaf coffee and sat on a concrete ledge, Kopp's manager Scott Borkin graciously brought him a sample of frozen custard. "The guy came all the way from the White House," Borkin says.

"He's got to try our custard."

The normally serious Cheney flashed a winning smile for Borkin, and Guldan snapped an attention-grabbing photo that would later be chosen for the September 11 Metro section.

Guldan got a call from readers the next day. "Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?" the reader asked.

Upon closer inspection, it seems the Vice President's smile was not his, ahem, biggest asset.

"You're not imagining it," Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo.

Let's just say the snugness of Cheney's pants left little to the imagination, and we're not talking about his waistline.

One Journal Sentinel reader pointed out the blooper in an e-mail to Dave Luczak, Carole Caine, and Kevin Brandt, who had a hoot talking about it during their popular morning show.

"It's nice to have someone of that magnitude in the White House," Brandt joked.

"He's got a porn career right there," Caine snickered.

"Now we know where his unmitigated confidence comes from," Luczak quipped.

We've seen the photo, and it's hard not to notice something so, well, unmistakeable.

Guldan explains that he took 100 to 200 photographs that day with a digital camera, chose six to eight images for possible publication, and didn't notice anything odd in the Kopp's image because Cheney sat in the shadows. Incredibly, a dozen or so editors saw the photo before publication, and no one raised the red flag.

"I got a chuckle out of it when I noticed it, too. If I had noticed it sooner, I would have cropped it," Guldan says, referring to the standard practice of trimming a photo without altering the accuracy. "I wasn't out to put him in a negative light."

While such a photo of the VP is clearly inappropriate, it's also a harmless mistake and could be seen as - dare we say - flattering. Just ask WKLH's Caine, who dug through her recycling bin to find the photo.

"It's like a Scud missile, for crying out loud," Caine said.

Want to see the picture for yourself? Catch it while you can at your library periodical desk, because chagrined Journal Sentinel officials are not in a sharing mood.

Crude and sophomoric jokes about this would be too easy; I wouldn't touch this one with a ten foot pole. Fortunately, the VeeP seems to have brought his own.

(Hat tip: Whizbang)


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