Beauty Queen of the Hill

By Elisha Saurs

Published August 04, 2006, issue of August 04, 2006.
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Shmooze readers likely know Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as one of the Forward 50 — this newspaper’s annual record of the most influential Jews in America. But the 39-year-old Florida Democrat just won a new title, becoming the first individual in history to make both our list and The Hill newspaper’s roster of the 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill.

The Hill’s writers were particularly impressed by Wasserman Schultz’s ability to juggle her political obligations for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee while she maintained her signature long blond curls. In fact, this ‘do earned Wasserman Schultz a spot on yet another list:, an Internet clearinghouse for hair products, named her number one on its “Top 10 Tresses” for a record five months between April and September of last year.

“You know, we’re obviously in a profession that requires being somewhat telegenic, and that ranges through every generation,” she said in an interview with the Forward before noting, diplomatically, that “attractiveness is subjective.”

Humbly sitting at 49th place on The Hill’s list, Wasserman Schultz followed the names of dozens of wide-eyed aides and office guppies, many of whom derived from an early 1980s vintage. But though she is one of the more “mature” individuals featured on the list, Wasserman Schultz is perceived as a young whippersnapper among her colleagues. Within her first term, she made strides in issues ranging anywhere from immigration to swimming pool safety. On the national agenda, she has taken aggressive opposition to the administration on grounds of Social Security privatization and the Hurricane Katrina emergency response. The House Democratic leadership recently recognized her efforts by naming her a senior whip.

Wasserman Schultz said she’s flattered by the attention but recently learned not to take any comments about her looks too seriously. On a day when she straightened her hair and donned a pink suit, a reporter asked whether she was trying to achieve a more “Republican” look, to which she facetiously dubbed herself “Congressional Barbie.”

“I’m in a rough business,” she said. “Anytime you can have nice things said about you, you take it. It’s better than the alternative.”

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