By Ned Martel, The Washington Post
The District of Columbia is the capital of the topical Halloween costume. Concepts can be ripped from the headlines; delve deeply into the arcana of Hillary Rodham Clintonâ€™s headbands or hair clips or scrunchies and a Washingtonian will get it.
But something happened in 2011 that has stymied costume vendors and partygoers alike. Where are our Joe the Plumbers? Our demon sheep?
â€œThis has been a very dead year as far as political stuff goes,â€ said Sandra Duraes, manager of Backstage, the Capitol Hill emporium. â€œWe really donâ€™t have Sarah Palin. Nobodyâ€™s asking for her.â€ Duraes spoke wistfully of 2008, when the Alaska governor burst onto the political scene just in time for Halloween celebrants to embrace her red suit, updo and spectacles.
The following Halloween saw a local boomlet for the Salahis, whose combo of sari-style dress and tux made for a no-frills, gate-crashing gag. And last year, ersatz Christine Oâ€™Donnells took to their brooms alongside bands of Chilean miners roaming the pumpkin-strewn sidewalks.
In 2011, however, the political gloom lies too heavily across the land, according to Ron Faucheux, a local pollster who surveyed 1,000 Americans and found that they would rather dress as Lady Gaga or the Geico Caveman than Palin or President Obama.
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