Outflanked by a Cosmo centrefold

The brain in the White House appears to have been outsmarted by the brawn of a nude centrefold, as Obama's filibuster-proof Senate number has been whipped away by a man once voted America's Sexiest Man. You couldn't make this stuff up.

Politicking 101…get your kit off.

There he was in the buff, hand strategically placed, the now junior Senator for Massachusetts elect, beaming from the pages of a 1982 Cosmopolitan magazine. Trumpeted, so to speak, as America’s Sexiest Man, Scott Brown is now the Republican party’s great new white hope.

Having snatched the late Ted Kennedy’s seat faster than you could arrange a Cosmo spread, Brown has gone from wearing nothing but a smile to wiping the smile right off the face of the Obama administration.

What is so stunning about his revealing all is just that – it wasn’t revealed in the highly watched special election for the prized Kennedy seat. That smacks of a Democrat candidate so sure she was going to win the seat that little digging was done on the background of the largely unknown opponent. Oh the dangers of hubris.

At this stage it is, however, poignant to imagine the furor that would have been evoked by America’s self professed party of family values had it been Brown’s Democrat opponent Martha Coakley who’d bared all for Playboy and then had the audacity to expect to be taken seriously on the national political stage. But it wasn’t Martha, it was Scott and he got away with it. Scott free.

In the age when teenagers are being warned repeatedly of the dangers of posting inappropriate photos of themselves on Facebook or other social networking pages for fear of ramifications with potential employers further down the track, here comes a guy who, in his era, did just that while in law school. Now he’s been elected to high office.

Perhaps it shows America has moved on from the days of Vanessa Williams having to resign her 1984 Miss America crown after it was found she’d posed for Playboy. Or the fuss surrounding Miss California Carrie Prejean when photos of her in just her pink knickers surfaced, but gals, don’t hold your breath.

Prejean’s case had the additional complication of a reaction by some in the gay community to her strange venture into politics taking a stance against same-sex marriage. It seemed she’d been ‘captured’ by the political right. Equally Mr Brown’s case should arguably have been complicated by his assertions during the 2008 presidential campaign that Obama may have been born out of wedlock – by implication a most un-Republican condition. Yeah right. More akin to the modus opperandi of the lunatic ‘birther’ fringe.

Then just to confirm concerns of those who find the Republican family values within a modernising party a little tough to swallow, in his victory speech Brown announced to “anyone who (is) watching” that his two daughters, Ayla, 21, and Arianna, 19, were “available”. Nice. He quickly realised what a dick he was making of himself, remembering Ayla is engaged, so the new boy on the Hill retracted and said only Arianna is available. Hmmm, public auctioning of daughters. Solid family values indeed.

Sure he made the remarks in the giddy atmosphere of election victory, but oh so often such remarks turn out to reveal the nature of the beast simply because they come so naturally. Unforced errors they’re called. His wife and daughters had the good grace to feign humour and the ‘available’ daughter eventually moved behind her father presumably to hide her humiliation rather than stick a knife in his back. Where he’s heading, Arianna, there’s plenty of time for that.

No sooner had Brown descended the victory platform than Republicans began to chatter about him as a future President. That would certainly be a first for Cosmopolitan. Brown did have the sense to say he was too tired from his marathon campaigning hours to comment sensibly on such an assertion but it is beginning to look as if his Teflon keeps more than just his pants at bay.

In the meantime, Brown has caused a massive headache for Obama a year to the day of his inauguration. The Democrats are in massive damage control given Brown’s stunning victory which denies them the filibuster-proof 60 senate votes they were relying on to push through the hugely complicated and largely unpopular Health Care Bill. Brown campaigned on stopping the Bill in its tracks.

The White House knows the numbers no longer add up, but Obama has only himself to blame for that by trying to be too inclusive of the Republicans. He should have known that consensus Republican-style means only what Republicans want.

Now they’ve delivered Obamaland a birthday suit which did not make for a very happy birthday.