Sex and politics cross paths in our culture. So I decided to tie the two together by interviewing Playboy Playmates about this year's presidential election.
Five Playmates - one a former Miss USA and another a Playmate of the Year - opened up about their interest in politics, who they support, what issues are most important to them and whether looks plays a role in who they support.
What they revealed included some surprises - three out of the five Playmates support John McCain for president. On the issues, the economy stood out for the Playmates. And when it comes to what they are experts at - being sexy - two of the Playmates thought Jon Stewart was the hottest "political pundit," while one Playmate picked Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, even calling him "a very sexy, seductive man."
• Shanna Moakler, former Miss USA and Dancing with the Stars contestant, actress, model, Miss December 2001;
• Brande Roderick, Baywatch Hawaii and Surreal Life star, actress, model, former Hef
girlfriend, Playmate of the Year 2001;
• Colleen Marie, veterinarian and model, Miss August 2003;
• Stephanie Glasson, model, Miss July 2004;
• Monica Leigh, actress, model, Playboy cover model, Miss March 2006.
The Playmates' candid answers show they are uninhibited with regard to sex and politics. As a therapist who spends hours trying to chip away at the walls of repression, facilitating the process of getting clients to say what they really feel, I found these interviews with the Playmates refreshing, whether I agreed with their views or not. See what you think.
How Much do Looks Play a Role in Who You Vote for?
Shanna, Colleen, and Stephanie were adamant about looks not playing a role. Shanna said, "Their looks mean nothing to me. I wanna hear what they have to say; I wanna see what they do." Monica and Brande were more circumspect. Brande stated, "I've heard that if someone is nice looking and tall, subconsciously we trust them more than a shorter, unattractive man. Is it fair? No. But it's just human nature. I think the remaining candidates are all good looking. So they're pretty even on that. Mrs. McCain makes up for any of McCain's misfortunes."
Women In Politics
Shanna mused she would love to see a woman in office in her lifetime, while Brande delved deep into her psyche saying, "This is going to sound terrible, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for a female president. I think of when I was a little girl; who did I run to for protection? Big strong dad."
Sexiest Living Politician
Shanna: "I think John Edwards is very handsome."
Brande: "When (Bill) Clinton was president I thought he was extremely sexy and good looking."
Colleen: "Jesse Ventura."
Monica: "Arnold hands down, lol."
Sorry, Chris, Keith, Tim, Jamal, & Nora . . . I would have supported you, but Brande votes for Bill O'Reilly on this one: "I was on his show twice and he is a very sexy, seductive man." Monica and Shanna give honorable mention to Jon Stewart: "I don't know if you would consider him a real political pundit, but he's fun to me," said Shanna.
Which Candidate Do You Prefer?
Shanna: Happy with either Democrat, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama;
On her support of McCain, Stephanie said, "I'm a Republican, but I would vote for the 'right person.' I like McCain because he shares some of the same Republican views as me and he's a social centrist. In social issues he's pretty much in the center. He also believes in a strong military, as I do."
On why she supports McCain, Brande said, "Originally I was a big supporter of Giuliani, but we know how that turned out. So naturally I jumped on the McCain train. I feel that our country will be the safest with McCain at the wheel. I don't know what it is about having a man that's a little older and has more experience than the other two."
However, she expressed one concern about McCain in that she does not want him to help overturn Roe vs. Wade. "He is pro life, and I feel very strongly that having a baby is a girl's choice. I don't feel that if a young 15-year-old girl who was taken advantage of gets pregnant she should have to stay pregnant," Brande said.
As for Monica's support for Clinton, she likes her experience and that, "She is a fighter."
Playmate Presidential Predictions
Of the Bunnies who ventured to predict the outcome of the 2008 presidential race, Shanna thinks Obama's got it, "He breaths a wind of fresh air that so many people want to see." Stephanie and Monica, on the other hand, place their bet on McCain.
Should a Candidate's Extramarital Affairs Factor in the Voters' Decision-making Process?
Shanna, Monica, and Brande don't feel it should. Brande said, "One thing has nothing to do with the other. And whether a president gets a you-know-what from someone has nothing to do with how well he runs his country. In fact he's probably more relaxed."
Shanna said, "No, I don't care what a candidate does behind closed doors as long as they stand by their word and fight to make this a better country. At the same time, humiliating your spouse doesn't show great character. But it shouldn't be the end-all be-all as a candidate."
Stephanie and Colleen are on the other side of the issue. "I believe we are voting for the man and what he can do for this country. His characteristics are a part of the man. If he would cheat on his wife, the woman he vowed to never cheat on, I feel that he would cheat the American people," said Stephanie.
Most Important Issue this Election
All the Playmates felt there are a wide variety of important issues that need to be tackled. When asked which is the most important right now, A) Economy B) Health Care C) Iraq, two of the four who answered picked the economy.
Other important issues this election that were mentioned by one or more of the Playmates include: civil rights among gays, abortion - the woman's right to choose, cancer research, the environment, and social security. Colleen asked, "Is there really going to be any SS (Social Security) money for me when I am old and have to retire??"
None of the Playmates characterized themselves as political junkies, but described themselves as patriotic and interested in politics. Brande said, "I care about what happens to this country and take all things that pertain to it very seriously." Colleen likes to "keep up with world events, change and what's going on here, but I get confused if I try to delve too deep."
Shanna sums up what a lot of people might be feeling: "I do wanna have a voice and make change, at the same time I get frustrated as politics make me feel so powerless at times. I am truly excited for this election. I'm excited that Obama and Clinton have started to make people talk and become interested in truly making changes. I think this is an amazing time to be alive and witness politics in this country."
Monica poignantly said that, "We are in need of a great leader right now and I hope our country helps make the right decision."
So do I, Monica!