By MSNBC contributor
updated 1/27/2004 11:58:17 AM ET 2004-01-27T16:58:17

I recently got this press release: “Edwards Endorsed by Hootie & The Blowfish.”  My first reaction to that news flash: Hootie I can see, but the Blowfish?  Wow — I had always pegged the Blowfish as Kerry boosters.  I guess John Edwards does bring everyone together.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

Or perhaps Edwards felt just liked how another press release sounded: “Lieberman Hammers Energy Bill As ‘Hooters And Polluters Act.’"

Yes, it’s the great Hootie & The Blowfish vs. Hooters & Polluters showdown of Decision 2004.

The Blowfish press release got me wondering: How much time do these presidential candidates have on their hands?  Lots, considering the following Top 10 funniest, wackiest, and just plain bizarre press release headlines from the 2004 presidential campaign:

10 — “Clark Campaign Beats The Spit Out Of Tom 'Chicken-Hawk' Delay” (Dec. 21).

9 — A tie between “John Kerry Bets Howard Dean on Red Sox Versus Yankees; Kerry Campaign Puts up New England Clam Chowder versus Dean Manhattan Chowder that the Red Sox Beat the Yankees” (Oct. 7) ... and ... “John Kerry Honors His Bet with Howard Dean after Yankees Steal Series.”  (Oct. 17).

8 — “New Hampshire Students Give Clark an A+: ‘Really cool’"  (Oct. 23).

7 — Another tie, this one between “First Baby Born on Campaign Trail -- Wes and Gert Clark Receive Surprise Gift, Baby Wes!”  (Dec. 26) ... and ... “Moseley Braun Statement on Death of Irv Kupcinet; Moseley Braun Saddened by Passing of Legend” (Nov. 10).

6 — “Team Joe Announces New Campaign Mascot” (Sept.  26).

5 — And another tie: “Statement from Wes Clark on the 100th anniversary of the Wright
Brothers' historic flight” (Dec. 17) ... and ... “Wes Clark on Mars landing of Spirit Spacecraft”  (Jan. 4).

4 — Tied again: “Lieberman Vows Action to Stop Targeting of Junk Food to Kids, Help Parents Raise Healthy Children” (Sept. 4) ... and ... “Edwards Assails Bush on Toxic Fish” (Dec. 11).

3 — “Charles Barkley On John Edwards” (Dec. 6).

2 — Dennis Kucinich: “Candidate's Supporters to Greet ‘Seabiscuit’ Moviegoers” (July 24).

1 — And the loopiest press release of all?  Of course: “Edwards Endorsed by Hootie & The Blowfish”  (Dec. 26).

Howard Mortman is a producer for "Hardball with Chris Matthews."


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