Incidental celebrity can be a pretty funny thing. In a world where so many seek publicity at every turn, it's nice when those who least expect it and don't look for it actually get it. As such, we were very pleased with the recent notoriety received by one of our very own: Joe Brenckle, assistant press secretary for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, or as he's affectionately now known in DC: "The Chart Guy."Joe's notoriety stems from his gig as the staffer handling visual aids for Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) during the debate on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Joe's dexterity with charts, graphs, photos, and a pointer impressed just enough folks through C-Span to make him a minor DC celebrity.
A write-up in The Washington Post earlier this month said Joe, 27, "(uses) a pointer with more panache than Zorro and his sword,
and revealed that he has his own 14-member fan club called "All About Joe." Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) even crossed party lines to thank Brenckle for his work on the floor, and Energy Committee staffer Dan Kish has penned a song, I Like Joe, sung to the tune of I Like Beer.
But we are proud to report that Joe has not let the notoriety go to his head. Asked what it was about him that attracted the Fame Fairy to his window, Brenckle humbly told PRWeek, "I'm just happy because it brings more attention to the issue, and that's what we're all working for." Spoken like a true spokesman.