Get ready to hear a lot more about Virginia between now and Election Day 2012. The commonwealth has been selected by some in the media as a key battleground state, and tracking the trends of its voting populace will likely produce some major stories for the next year and a half. A new Washington Post poll reveals that the killing of Osama bin Laden raised President Obama's popularity in the state marginally. However, The Post's Amy Gardner and Jon Cohen report that Virginians still have a relatively bleak view of the economy and are dissatisfied with the administration.
When Leslie Johnson got caught trying to hide tens of thousands of dollars in her bra, it was more than just a personally embarrassing experience for the wife of then-Prince George's County executive Jack Johnson. She also happened to be a member of the county's council, and those who voted for her were likely quite let down as well. Now, as the federal corruption case languishes in court, Leslie's life in the public eye has forced the issue out into the open. The Post's Miranda S. Spivack reports that her constituents are worried and frustrated about the possible impact of a verdict and how it will reflect on their district.
It's been well established in this space that Navy SEALs are badass. Beyond the dedication, commitment and personal fortitude it takes to live the lifestyle of a special forces operative, their jobs seem pretty cool if you're into covert missions. But beyond grown-man fantasies of blowing up stuff for the government, they also are a big hit with the ladies. So much so that the SEAL-character-based romance novels are definitely a genre of their own, and ever since last Sunday's events, the cottage industry surrounding the elite units has exploded across the country. The Post's Annys Shin reports on the trend.
I can't stand the term "baby names." As a simple matter of fact, when naming a newborn child you are not naming a baby. You are naming a human being who, if luck should have it, will grow up to be a non-baby. That being said, the methods by which some people name their children are as fickle as pop culture allows. For example, according to the Social Security Administration, the 42nd most popular name for girls last year was "Khloe," ahead of Katherine and Rachel, Slate's Laura Wattenberg reports. Oy. I'll take this time to say hello to my real friend Chloë, who, yes, spells her name with an umlaut.
Newsflash to Terps men's basketball fans: The head coaching job at the University of Maryland is not that attractive. The local sports media have been fawning for days over the possible replacements for Gary Williams, who stepped down Friday after 22 years, and people seem to be shocked that nobody wants the job. The Post's Jason Reid told us months ago that the Terps top gig was only as relevant as Gary himself, and now the school can't seem to find anyone of note to take the position. Liz Clarke reports on the latest in the futile search.
• Everyone's favorite former D.C. Schools Chancellor is back in town today and she's speaking at an education conference in the city. Michelle Rhee is scheduled to talk at a summit hosted by the American Federation for Children, and yes, there will be protests. Oh yeah, and here is another gratuitous highlight from her beau's awesome NBA career.
• What's the latest restaurant you'll no longer be able to get a seat at because the Obamas graced it with their presence? If you had Ristorante Tosca at 12th and F streets NW in the pool, you're a winner!
• By the way, please do me a favor and like my new fan page on Facebook. Merci bien.
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