Jessica Spins Press Corps in Prep for '08 Run

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Mar 16, 2006 7:15 PM

Oh, Jess, what can I say? I've been watching you for a long time. It's good to see you here. It's interesting to see you in a suit, though I think when your stylist said, "I'm thinking jaded, middle-aged Hill staffer," you should have said, "I think Daisy Duke might raise more money." But you totally pulled it off. You always do.

You were here to raise money for Operation Smile, which is really very sweet, though on principle, I'm not so down with funding charities with tax money. But that's a whole other issue. The charity sounds worthy and I'm so glad you're involved.

I've liked you since you were but a baby pop star, back when you positioned yourself as a refreshingly less trashy alternative to Britney and Christina. Then there was the whole saving-yourself-for-marriage thing, which was great and rare and further endeared you. Then came "Newlyweds," at which point many of my friends wrote you off as that dumb blonde and could not abide you.

I was different. I began to suspect that beautiful, blonde hair flowed from the noggin of master marketer. A marketer who knew that the American people wanted a beautiful, honest, unpretentious gal to make them all feel like geniuses because she didn't know that Buffalo wings don't come from buffalos. You knew, didn't you, Jessica? You knew.

You knew that the American people wanted to see that gal sing to the troops and wear Daisy Dukes. You knew. And as for the divorce? Need we even discuss it? I mean, the Nick-to-Jessica magazine cover ratio says it all, you genius, you.

And, this week, when you traveled to Washington, you even knew exactly how to spin this whole town. You got an invite to a Republican fundraiser and a meeting with President Bush. An average pop-star-turned-spokeswoman would have thought to herself that the chance to commend her chosen charity to the very President of the United States was a pretty sweet opportunity, particularly when you're in town to raise government money for your cause.

But not you, Jessica. You knew, Jessica. You knew that if you attended the Bush meeting, you'd get the average couple of stories about your visit. You'd get the requisite coverage of your press conference and photos of your Presidential meeting (altogether expected of an all-American, troop-loving gal from Texas).

Ahh, but if you passed on the Bush meeting? Oh, the press that could be had! Just trust me, you told Operation Smile, when they winced at the idea of snubbing the President. And they knew to trust your spot-on marketing instincts.

Sure enough, the Washington press corps melted in your hands just as sure as Enos Strate. A bajillion Google News hits later, nobody in this town or nation doesn't know what Operation Smile is.

Well played, Marketress Simpson. Well played.

You got the liberal press with the snub and now you're shoring up your red-state credentials by telling the Post how much you love the President. You are made for this town, girl. I always knew I was right about you. Dumb blonde, indeed.

Jessica '08, baby. When you move here, I'll be your new CaCee Cobb. This is gonna be great.