Ari Arrives?

A fun rumor that’s been bouncing around for the last day or so says that Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary, is considering a run for Congress. Fleischer comes from the Westchester County district long represented by Republican Sue Kelly. But Kelly went down in November, narrowly losing to Democrat John Hall, a liberal activist best known as the lead singer of the ’70s neo-doo-wop band Orleans. A race between Fleischer and Hall would make for all sorts of interesting contrasts, such as: Does Fleischer possess as many hairs on his head as Hall sports on his chest on this famous album cover?

Orleans Ari Arrives?

(In Fleischer’s defense, Hall seems to be a bit of a cue-ball now, too.)

Let’s add the caveat here that Fleischer hasn’t actually said anything publicly about running. The rumor seems have originated from a story on the conservative magazine Human Events‘ webpage, in which “friends” of Fleischer note that he “has done just about everything congressional” except run for Congress. But the speculation that Fleischer might make a run has followed him ever since he announced he was quitting his White House job and planning a move back home. All of which leads us to this story from April 2001, from the New York Times‘ Westchester Weekly, “Native Son: Pound Ridge Still Beckons.” It’s behind the TimesSelect wall now, so let’s summarize a few key details:

–Fleischer hung framed prints of Bedford Village on the wall of his White House office.

–The Westchester County Republican Committee named him its 2001 “Man of the Year.” (Come on–Al Pirro can’t win every year!)

–Fleischer’s parents are avid Democrats. Of her son’s Republicanism, his mother says: “He’ll grow out of it.”

–During his years as a Washington up-and-comer, he often “brought 20 of his Washington friends up [to Westchester County] for a July 4th party at his parents’ house and fireworks in the town park.”

Hmmm… Sounds like someone’s been laying the groundwork for a while.

Andrew Rice