The XX Factor

Hot Costume Party Pics Won’t Deter Krystal Ball

Amanda, it looks like you were right that what you called the “Age of TMI” is going to affect how well politicans can control their images-and force voters to reevaluate their expectations of pristine politicians.

The latest candidate to find that out the hard way is Krystal Ball (not a joke), a Democratic congressional candidate from Virginia. A blog just posted a batch of photos of Ball and her then-husband enjoying themselves at a costume Christmas party six years ago. And by “enjoying themselves,” I mean she was fellating the Santa-red dildo on his nose.

Like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware , Ball quickly ‘fessed up to what she called an “embarrassing” incident and said she hoped people would examine the real issues. But she a step farther than O’Donnell-rather than just accepting responsibility for a youthful indiscretion and moving on, Ball challenged the idea that the pictures ever should have entered the public sphere. “Of course, I am embarrassed by these photos; that was the whole point of these political operatives when they put them up,” Ball told the Richmond Times-Dispatch . “But more than just embarrassed, I’m angry!”

She also has some advice for young women-and it’s not to avoid costume parties. “I have a message for any young woman who is thinking about running for office and has ever attended a costume party … or done anything stupid on camera,” she said. “Run for office. Fight for this country. Don’t let this sort of tactic deter you.”