• Forget multimillion-dollar gifts to super PACs. If you insist on having a presidential candidate in your pocket, you can buy one on eBay.

    Sure, he's inhumanly stiff. His smile looks painted on. He's only three inches tall. And, frankly, he's something of an inaction figure. But "Futurama" writer Patric Verrone wouldn't make Mini-Mitt any other way.

    Verrone is something of a Marxist—that is, a disciple of legendary toymaker Louis Marx, who pioneered the presidential figurine industry in the 1950s. As a kid, Verrone collected Marx's tiny presidential figurines. But they were discontinued in the early 1970s. So the Emmy-award winning TV writer, now 52, took up the mantle, making the presidents Marx did not, as well as vice presidents, first ladies, Supreme Court justices and also-ran presidential candidates.

    Mitt Romney No. 1, the never-used first edition of the Romney figurine, is currently up for auction on eBay. At press time, it was going for $51 with two bids. If Dad's monogrammed bowling ball is still collecting dust from last Father's Day, Verrone has you covered: The auction ends Friday at 6 p.m. EDT, "which gives me just enough time to ship it out overnight for Father's Day delivery," he said.

    Verrone makes the mold for a new figurine using an existing Marx collectible as his guide: JFK gave rise to President Barack Obama, for example.

    For Mitt Romney, "the designing was less political and more paternal," Verrone told Yahoo News in an interview conducted over email. "The original Marx Toy Company made a prototype of a George Romney figurine when he ran for president in 1968."

    "Although I had previously used this figure for my George H.W. Bush figure, this time I made some alterations to the arms and upper body but, most importantly, I got to keep the last name on the base," he said. (That's Romney No. 5 in the photograph above.)

    Read More »from Is that a politician in your pocket? Now for sale: Mitt Romney No. 1, never used
  • (Evan Vucci/AP)Mitt Romney says it's "completely absurd" to suggest he wants to cut back on the number of teachers, firefighters and police officers around the country.

    In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Romney dismissed Democratic criticism over his remarks at a campaign rally in Iowa on Friday in which he appeared to suggest the country could do without more public sector jobs.

    "He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers," Romney said Friday, speaking about President Obama's efforts to expand government. "Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

    The Obama campaign immediately seized on Romney's comments, releasing a video attacking the former Massachusetts governor for wanting to cut public sector jobs and being out of touch with the needs of American communities.

    Asked about the Obama campaign's criticism by Fox News, Romney rejected their attacks.

    "That's a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states," Romney said. "The federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that's completely absurd."

    Read More »from Romney calls suggestions he wants cut teachers, firefighters ‘completely absurd’
  • President Barack Obama's re-election campaign on Tuesday sent supporters an email solicitation offering an unusual opportunity: Give just $3, "and you could literally have his ear at an upcoming dinner with you and a few other guests."

    "Literally" have his ear at dinner? It's perfectly obvious that the campaign meant that some lucky donors would get the chance to talk to the president. But the writing evoked something a bit more dramatic: A van Gogh homage, perhaps? Or a meal featuring "fava beans and a nice chianti"? Or the Miami face-eater? That scene from "Reservoir Dogs"? "Blue Velvet"?

    Read More »from Obama ‘literally’ looks to sew up the zombie vote?

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