updated 11/22/2005 10:56:24 AM ET 2005-11-22T15:56:24

Freshman Ohio Representative Jean Schmidt has been in office for a whopping total of 75 days, and is already an international celebrity. Not bad. But not necessarily the kind of publicity one would invite.

On Friday she took to the floor of the House with a message for Re. John Murtha--"Cowards cut and run. Marines never do."

Did she realize that he was a decorated war hero--and a Marine--with a 37 year military career under his belt? One would think you'd have to sequestered in some Motel Six in the Ozarks to not know who he is and what his message has been for the past week. But, maybe.

Either way, she's all the buzz today.

Back in her home district they call her "Mean Jean." For many Ohioans, this tough talk came as no surprise.

The Whistlebloweris an online newsletter from Schmidt's district near Cincinnati. Before the special election in August, this journal predicted she would be a loose cannon.

After Friday's speech they published an "I told you so" special edition.

And they also note that this publicity could help her gain ground with red meat conservatives. She's gotten a reputation for being a tax and spend RINO.

Maybe that's the case, but winning over the veterans won't be as easy. A lot of them are online today with some tough words of their own.

For example, at Operation Truth, one veteran of the war in Iraq calls her comments an outrage, an un-American attack on a war hero.

But some soldiers see it her way. At The Military Vote, a blogger currently in Baghdad writes that he doesn't want to be a coward. That he won't abandon the Iraqi people.

The voters back in Ohio are divided on her speech, as well.

Congress.org is a non-partisan website that helps citizens connect with their representatives. It provides phone numbers, emails, and biographies of elected officials.

Messages are pouring in from all around the country, but the ones from Ohio indicate that opinion is divided there, as well.

One person from Cincinnati calls the comments "an embarrassment." Another from Akron writes, "God bless you for standing up to the Democrats."

And it's not just Ohioans discussing Mean Jean today. She's an international celebrity now.

In Australia, a journalist comments that Schmidt made it personal on the House floor in a way that Americans try to avoid. "All Hell broke loose," he writes.

In The Netherlands, the spin is that the President's trip to Asia was totally overshadowed by the uproar at home.

And speaking of Asia, an editorial from the Asia Timesabout the Friday showdown says that "it's Wizard of Oz time in America." In other words, Democrats are no longer afraid of the men behind the curtain--the President and Vice President.

In this "Oz" analogy, does Mean Jean have a team of flying monkeys?

I'm melting.


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