He looks hot, but he's taken

2b

May 16, 2008|By LAURA VOZZELLA

You live by the biceps, you die by the biceps.

The good news for Martin O'Malley: A national magazine has put him on one of those lists of top governors.

The bad news: The magazine is Playboy.

Playboy Radio - who knew there was such a thing? - "held a panel discussion with some high-priced Los Angeles call girls," says the June issue of the girlie mag. "We asked them to rate some notable govs (and ex-govs) on a scale of 'doability.'"

O'Malley ranked fifth, behind California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, Florida's Jeb Bush, Michigan's Jennifer Granholm and Iowa's Chet Culver.

Only 18 current and former governors were listed, in order of "hottest to not-est."

The bottom three: New Mexico's Bill Richardson, Arkansas' Mike Huckabee and, dead last, the man who inspired the whole thing, New York's Eliot Spitzer, also known as Client 9.

How'd the ranking go over in O'Malleyland? They've always tried to have their beefcake and eat it, too - capitalizing on the gov's band-leading, iron-pumping appeal while also promoting him as a family-oriented, good-government wonk. (Witness the O'Malley's March home page, where a photo montage of O'Malley, with muscle shirt and bedroom eyes, is oddly interrupted by the image of his beautiful wife. Message: He's hot, but he's taken.)

The governor's office actually had a sense of humor about the whole thing.

"Arnold's No. 1," spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said. "It's certainly not Time magazine's top 5 mayors" - an honor O'Malley bagged in 2005 - "but we're still in good company with [Virginia] Gov. [Tim] Kaine [No. 13], [Massachussets] Gov. [Deval] Patrick [No.6], [Arizona] Gov. [Janet] Napolitano [No. 14], and Governor Richardson [No. 16]."

Guess which one will rock the Observatory

The Hill asked every U.S. senator who's not running for president if they'd accept an offer to run for vice president. "Some senators laughed," the newspaper reported, "but others took the question seriously."

Surprise, surprise, Ben Cardin was among the earnest.

"Other than you and my wife, I'm not sure anyone else has asked me. Obviously, it's a position that I think is critically important, that the right person who can lead the nation be selected as vice president, someone who's compatible with the president and someone who can add balance to the ticket. So I'm not going to presume to answer that as far as any specific people, including myself. But I'm in the United States Senate. To be president of the Senate would be a great honor."

Maryland's senior senator, meanwhile, yukked it up.

"Absolutely. Absolutely," Barbara Mikulski told the paper. "I think I would be great. First of all, I know how to behave at weddings and funerals. And I know how to be commander in chief. I'd bring a lot of fun to the job. We would rock the Naval Observatory."

We know David Simon; they're no David Simon

The Wire was never the most popular show at City Hall, what with its dreary depiction of Baltimore. But a group trying to influence how the city spends its money tied its pitch to the HBO drama anyway.

In e-mails sent to city leaders and the news media, the Safe and Sound Campaign presented its agenda like a must-see TV preview. "Episode 1" of "The Opportunity Wire" is all about prenatal care.

"The drama continues," the release states. "Will the 15-member City Council insist on a budget that restores $800,000 for home [prenatal] visitors so Lisa [an expectant mother] and many like her can deliver a healthy baby - or will they keep the status quo - and the all-too-real and devastating consequences?"

Early notices weren't encouraging.

Mayor Sheila Dixon's e-mail response to Safe And Sound Exec Director Hathaway Ferebee: "You are loosing it and I think that is a very low blow to even connect the wire."

(Her honor was on a BlackBerry, so cut her some slack for loosing.)

Ferebee, who forwarded the e-mail exchange far and wide, tried to salvage her Wire analogy.

"The Wire is our past," she messaged Dixon. "Under your leadership The OPPORTUNITY Wire is our present and our future."

Dixon thanked her for clarifying the Wire connection but didn't make any promises, writing, "We are doing what we can."

Connect the dots

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