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Feature: Alabama Drug Reformer Loretta Nall Accidentally Becomes the "Cleavage" Candidate

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #460)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues

Libertarian Party Alabama gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall couldn't get enough signatures gathered to win a spot on next Tuesday's ballot, but in a bizarre twist, her breasts have garnered her enough attention to make her a water-cooler topic of conversation not only in the Heart of Dixie, but from coast to coast. The 30-something Alabama housewife has taken what could be viewed as a demeaning local newspaper column about her breasts and cleavage and, in an act equal parts political jiu-jitsu and political theater, used it to gain a nationwide soapbox for her platform of drug and sentencing reform, immigrant legalization, and opposition to the war in Iraq and the Patriot and Real ID Acts.

It all began with a photo of Nall alongside a brief, dismissive mention of her campaign in a column by the Montgomery Independent's Bob Ingram back in March. The photo -- obtained by the paper through a Google search and used in lieu of the more conservative image she had provided -- showed the amply-endowed Nall in a low-cut blouse with plunging cleavage. Ingram revisited the topic a few days later, telling readers the Nall photo marked the first time a woman's cleavage was featured in his column.

Nall took it from there. In a letter to Ingram and Independent publisher Bob Martin, she challenged the apparently breast-obsessed pair to discuss her campaign instead of her physical attributes. "Now that you and the rest of Alabama have been introduced to 'the twins' perhaps you'd like to meet the rest of me," she wrote. "I'll don my burka, so y'all won't be distracted, and perhaps we can discuss the other planks in my platform, since Mr. Ingram saw fit to only discuss one."

By the end of March, Nall was reporting wildly increased traffic at her campaign web site and increasing attention across the blogosphere, and by the beginning of May she had taken advantage of the attention to unveil a new "Flash for Cash" appeal for donations, where an animated Nall figure would reveal what's behind the blouse for a $50 campaign contribution.

She took it to the next level when she unveiled a new line of t-shirts and posters featuring the famous cleavage shot above and photos of incumbent Republican Gov. Bob Riley and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley below, with the text reading "More of These Boobs and Less of These Boobs."

Since then, it has been a media frenzy for Nall, with appearances on the national cable news networks Fox and MSNBC and NBC's The Today Show, as well as countless radio interviews -- both national and local -- and unceasing attention in the blogosphere. And in the ouroboros world of the media, the attention Nall received from some media outlets meant she was all the more newsworthy on other media outlets.

The national interest meant that the homeboy media needed to pay attention, and it did. An Alabama-based Associated Press story ran in papers across the country, local TV stations began devoting increasing air time to her breasts (and her campaign), and on Wednesday evening she was slated for a 20-minute appearance on Alabama's only statewide newscast, "On the Record."

"The Alabama press has really had a good time with this," Nall told Drug War Chronicle. "The campaign is full of nasty attack ads, and I'm doing something different and they're eating it up. Yes, there is lots of stuff about me being 'the breast candidate for the job' and 'racking up points,' but then they go on to actually talk about my campaign and my platform. The boobs thing has been fun for me and the media, and I've garnered some good editorials as a result."

But despite the humor of her campaign, Nall is a serious candidate. "Everybody was all excited about the boob stuff," she told the Chronicle, "but I just use that as a way of getting a platform to get at my real issues, especially the Patriot and Real ID Acts, No Child Left Behind, and drug policy and prison reform," the Alabama housewife explained. "Hammering away at the number of people in our overcrowded prisons has been one of my main planks."

And she wasn't afraid to go behind enemy lines, making an appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends program, where she simply steamrollered a seemingly stunned pair of Fox anchors. "It's hard to outfox Fox, but I didn't really pay any attention to their questions, I didn't let them hem me in," Nall explained. "I figured if I pulled a Marc Emery and talked non-stop, they wouldn't have a chance, and they didn't."

Nall is not being included in polling on the governor's race, but said she believed she would poll well above the 1% needed to win a ballot line for the Libertarian Party in 2008. "If the feedback I've been getting is any indication, I could go as high as 5% or 6%," she predicted. "I am hearing from a lot of Republicans who say I am a true conservative, but I'm also getting support from a lot of lefty Democrats. There is a large segment of the population that feels like it doesn't have a political voice when the major party candidates here are trying to out-Jesus each other."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

MORE women should stand up and utilize their 'female' power for the betterment of human-kind as Loretta Nall has!!! What are we waiting for? For the government to take away ALL of our rights? For men to TELL us how we should think, speak, and act in public? If we stay asleep much longer, our rights, as women, will be slowly taken away. It's already happening. WAKE UP, STAND UP and SPEAK OUT with all you've got!!! Ladies: Don't let your man FILTER your words....ever!!! If he continues to try to change your opinions...dump him! He's not on your side if he doesn't like the way you think!

--LeighAnn of Scottsboro, Alabama

Fri, 11/03/2006 - 12:54pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

At last we have someone speaking sense. This Drug War is harming more citizens than the actual drugs could ever do.
Prohibition, just does not work, see The 'Cantania Report'.
Good luck Loretta Nall.
Ian Harris

Sat, 11/04/2006 - 10:22am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

is it sad that a third party candidate (or a woman in general) has to use her breasts to get any attention? yes. of course. but until the entire electoral structure (and our patriarchal culture) change: flaut em if you've got em.

Sat, 11/04/2006 - 10:24am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The great part is Ms. Nall did not use her endowments at first -- it was her opponents in the media who apparently rejected more conservative head shots provided by Ms. Nall in favor of the buxom photo. In courtroom examinations, that's called "opening the door." In journalism and politics, I should think it's called an Idiot's Blunder.

Good courage, Ms. Nall. Here's hoping Alabama's finest start looking up and talking to your face.

Jay Hurst

Sun, 11/05/2006 - 12:27pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

That a boy, girl! Free advertising at its best. Just don't pull a Janet Jackson. The last thing you need is the FCC coming after you, not to mention a bunch of stalkers. Love your platform and would like to know more details. Buena Suerte!

Future teacher and someone who desperately wants to see the prison industrial complex reformed

Tue, 11/07/2006 - 2:43am Permalink

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