BATON ROUGE - It's one thing when an obscure webmaster solicits a "sex worker" to run for U.S. Senate. It's another when the national media starts to take the candidate seriously.
When New Orleans native Zach Hudson announced Stormy Daniels as his pick to challenge Louisiana Sen. David Vitter in the 2010 Republican primary, it was completely without the star's knowledge. The site remains unauthorized by Stormy Daniels or Wicked Pictures.
"There's a Storm a brewin'," boasts the site, DraftStormy.com. "A Storm that's gonna sweep Louisiana clean of corrupt politicians once and for all! And that Storm's name is Stormy. Stormy Daniels. Honesty, passion and strength of character. These are the traits Louisiana needs in a Senator at this crucial time. And honesty, passion and strength is what is this Storm is all about."
Other pages of the site purport to give Stormy's views on the economy - she's against piracy of copyrighted materials and for clean energy; she's "a fierce advocate for female empowerment in the business world" and "would strongly promote the encouragement of women running their own businesses"; and she "believes that our children are the future and cares deeply about them," so she supports the "Restricted To Adult" (RTA) metatagging as well as user-level filtering."
This week, CNN and even the right-leaning website The Daily Beast have interviewed Stormy, contrasting her sex-positive forthrightness with Vitter's original denial that he'd had anything to do with Jeanette Maier, the "Canal Street Madam," or that he'd had a long-running relationship with one of Maier's prostitutes, Wendy Cortez. Vitter's was also among the "john" phone numbers in D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey's black book.
"Originally the focus wasn't even about making me as a candidate," Stormy told CNN. "I think it was about bringing attention to the Senate race in general, and then the response was overwhelmingly positive, and I think everyone was running with it. I have people put up sites about me all the time and I usually shut them down pretty quickly, but this one was really well-done, and I found it pretty amusing, so I went with it."
But Hudson insists that DraftStormy.com is a "serious effort". And Stormy told interviewers that she's prepared to challenge Vitter.
"I'm always up for a good fight, and I think anybody that knows me is more than aware of that," she said. "Politics can't be any dirtier of a job than the one I'm already in."
Stormy confirmed that she's "planning a listening tour around Louisiana to talk about the economy and other issues."
But is she actually running? The Daily Beast's Max Blumenthal almost got an answer to that in an interview with the star over the weekend in Phoenix.
"I haven't decided yet," Stormy told Blumenthal. "I've never been involved in politics before, but apparently they are calling me to duty and if that's what it takes, then that's what I will do."
Blumenthal and Stormy even went so far as to think up some campaign slogans for the candidate, including "Stormy Daniels - Screwing People Honestly"; "Stormy Daniels - At Least I Don't Wear A Diaper"; "Stormy Daniels - I Have The Best Stimulus Package"; and a poster with Stormy in dominatrix gear under the heading: 'Whipping Louisiana's Economy Into Shape.'"
Stormy suggested that a RealDoll could probably beat Vitter in a debate. "At least she'll answer questions probably better than he does," she said. "He seems to evade everything."
"The Louisiana Democratic Party is not affiliated with the 'Draft Stormy' initiative - that movement is a nonpartisan, grass-roots effort," Scott Jordan, spokesman for the Louisiana Democratic Party, told Politico.com. "If their recruitment effort works, it will surely be interesting, for example, to hear David Vitter explain his vote against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to Stormy Daniels."
But the star herself seemed to see some irony in the political discussion.
"If he's so awful that they're trying to get me to run, I think people really need to get out there and vote," she said. "And if I can use my name and my image to bring attention to the fact that people need to register to vote and get Vitter out of office - if they hate him so much, why is he there?"