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In The Loop
Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 10/29/2012

A boost for DesJarlais?

Tennessee Republican Reps. Scott DesJarlais and Marsha Blackburn participate in a ceremony at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill on Oct. 21. (Erik Schelzig - AP)
Things sure were looking rough for Rep. Scott DesJarlais for a while, following the revelation of a phone call the (pro-life) Tennessee Republican had with his mistress in which he pressured her to have an abortion. The fallout was so bad, he even had to lay low in Washington for a bit.

But his campaign’s outlook might be sunnier in recent days, now that he’s picked up two important endorsements: one from the National Rifle Association, and the other from ... wait for i t... a second mistress!

The NRA praised DesJarlais’s record of “fighting for your firearms freedom in Congress,” including supporting a bill to allow folks toting concealed weapons to freely cross state lines.

The other endorsement was more of a character witness. He’s “the nicest guy,” says another woman who says that she had an affair with DesJarlais that began in 2000. How nice was he? Well, he cooked her dinner on their first date, she says. Now that’s the kind of thoughtfulness we need more of in Washington.

The woman told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that DesJarlais was a “regular guy” (that’s every candidate’s dream endorsement) though a bit of “a hound” (spin it as persistence, we say!) who smoked pot. DesJarlais’s campaign did not dispute specifics, but said the story wasn’t “credible.”

Still, he’s claiming he’s still a shoo-in for reelection, releasing a poll showing him 13 points ahead of his Democratic challenger. If true, that means that Congress’ pantry will be larded with some real characters, much to The Loop’s delight.

He’ll join former representative Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who looks to be a sure thing, and — if he can beat back a Democratic challenger — Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) at the top of our list of Loop favorites. Both Floridians are quick with a kooky quote or 10 (Grayson likes to hurl the insult “K Street whore,” while West claims that there are about 80 communists serving in Congress).

Who says Washington is dull?

By  |  10:55 AM ET, 10/29/2012

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