"Never let it be said that conservatives and libertarians have no sense of humor," says Americans for Tax Reform's Derek Hunter, who's been doing his best to photograph fellow conservatives sporting the trend of the moment: the Snuggie.
And it's working: So far he's convinced Joe the Plumber, Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart to adorn the "blanket with sleeves" that has people mocking it while simultaneously wearing it. His boss, ATR President Grover Norquist, was the first "political celebrity" to put it on.
"I was plotting, trying to think of how to ask Grover," said Hunter. "But a friend of his grabbed him after a Wednesday meeting and said, 'You have to get your picture taken in this.' He knew what it was, thought it was funny and slid it on."
Hunter purchased the Snuggie after a bit too much to drink and later brought it into work simply to prove to his fellow Tax Reformers that, yes, he had — embarrassingly — purchased a Snuggie. Soon, colleagues began taking photos of themselves in it and, eventually, a Facebook photo page — "The Snuggie Cult" — was born.
"From there, it blew up," said Hunter. "Within the next hour I was inundated with messages from people who wanted to see it, try it on and have their picture taken in it. I figured it could be fun, so what the hell? Rather than give it away, which was my original plan, I thought I’d keep it a while to take some pictures of people in it. ... Next thing I knew I had 100 people in it."
So who's due for a Snuggie photo? Hunter says his wish list includes Karl Rove, Michael Steele, P.J. O'Rourke and Mary Matalin. And he stands a good chance of getting most of them, since Norquist's exclusive Wednesday morning meeting of conservative leaders frequently sees a roster of VIP visitors.
Hunter's dream of getting President Barack Obama in a Snuggie, however, could prove a bit more challenging.
"I think it's doable," he joked.