Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli apparently isn’t fond of wardrobe malfunctions, even when Virginia’s state seal is involved.
The seal depicts the Roman goddess Virtus, or virtue, wearing a blue tunic draped over one shoulder, her left breast exposed. But on the new lapel pins Cuccinelli recently handed out to his staff, Virtus’ bosom is covered by an armored breastplate.
When the new design came up at a staff meeting, workers in attendance said Cuccinelli joked that it converts a risqué image into a PG one.
The joke might be on him, said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato.
“When you ask to be ridiculed, it usually happens. And it will happen here, nationally,” he said. “This is classical art, for goodness’ sake.”
It wouldn’t be the first time that Cuccinelli has found himself in a punch line since taking office. The conservative Republican made Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in March after he advised state colleges and universities they lack the legal authority to protect gay employees from discrimination.
“You can’t be gay in college?” host Jon Stewart asked in mock disbelief. “That’s the whole point of going to college!”
If the jokes start to fly, Cuccinelli can’t say he didn’t see it coming, Sabato said – not after what happened in 2002, when U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered drapes installed to cover partially nude statues at the Justice Department. “Ashcroft had one excuse: it hadn’t been done before and he wasn’t prepared for the critical onslaught that he faced,” Sabato said. “Cuccinelli has no excuse at all. He knows what’s coming because of what happened to Ashcroft. You can only conclude that he enjoys being the center of pointless controversy.”
Efforts to reach Cuccinelli on Friday were unsuccessful.