Not the whole picture

May 03, 1991

Governor Schaefer is certainly justified in taking umbrage at the way he's being treated in one of the supermarket tabloids that specialize in the foibles of the famous. After all, the celebrated striped bathing-suit and rubber duck photo that was published this week in the Star was 10 years old, and made when he was still mayor, not governor.

The photo, of course, has been published so often in the local press that it's almost become a Schaefer signature piece -- one moment of whimsy which captures his irrepressible willingness to promote worthy causes.

But the very fact that it is only now appearing in the sleazy sheets -- under a headline advertising "the wackiest governor in America" -- tells the rest of the sad story. The photo would've never been published for people to read at the checkout counter had it not been for the run of eccentric episodes in which the governor indulged himself over the past several months.

So now the governor ruefully concludes that getting ridiculed in the tabloids means he must stop wearing funny hats. But that would be a pity indeed, because Schaefer without a little innocent merriment would be like bacon without eggs, peaches without cream, spring without flowers.

It's not the photo that's the problem; it's the string of reasons for running it. Now that he's been on his best behavior for a good while, it would be sad if he should let the supermarket tabloids make him stop wearing his lovable hats.

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