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Blue Man joins the Landers campaign trail

Mayoral hopeful gets a little help from a mystery man in Spandex

July 24, 2011|By Laura Vozzella, The Baltimore Sun

"That's worse than being stuck in an Elmo costume up in Sesame Place," Fogleman said.

Blue Man even has some of Landers' rivals talking. Not always approvingly, but talking nonetheless.

"The guy's wandering around in 105-degree weather in a blue Spandex suit. Really?" said Dan Fee, campaign manager for Otis Rolley, a former city planning director who is running for mayor. "And how does he go to the bathroom? The logistics are just staggering."

The race has been distinctly short on funny, despite the early involvement of Bill Cosby.

Cosby came to town back in January to endorse Rolley and perform at a fundraiser. That brought Rolley some early attention, as did the promise that Cosby would campaign door-to-door with him closer to the primary. But so far, no plans have been firmed up for Cosby's return.

Landers might seem like an unlikely candidate to inject humor into the race. He is a buttoned-down business type who was vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. When Rawlings-Blake dismissed calls for sharply lowering property taxes as "pie in the sky," Landers responded with a 104-page report from a tax committee he'd co-chaired in 2007. He did playfully superimpose the words "Pie in the Sky?" on the report's cover, but it was an utterly serious response.

Blue Man works for Landers precisely because he is "a very reputable guy," Clapp said. A goofy stunt associated with a goofy candidate wouldn't go over quite so well, she reasoned.

Which isn't to say she predicts Blue Man will be a game-changer. And she doesn't think it would help to have Landers himself slip into Spandex.

"I think crazy tactics get press and publicity and they might even close the gap a little bit," she said. "But I don't think people are ready to vote for guys in Blue Man suits."

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

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