LAST CALL: Leaders shopping for public support

The International Mass Retail Association invited journalists to

accompany members of Congress late last month as they lunched at

McDonald's, then shopped at Target.


The idea was to show Americans their leaders were not afraid to go

shopping - which in turn would encourage citizens to do the same.

Sitting abreast of one another, stiffly nibbling Big Macs and French

fries, Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN) and Rep. John E. Peterson (R-PA) were

photographed and questioned on matters of national security. Later they

plopped down a combined $311.53 at Target.

The event did get decent press, including a front-page article in The

Washington Post "Style" section and the front page of Roll Call.

To date, the economy is still in the toilet.

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