Tater Tot: Ben Quayle's Smart. He Can Spell Potato. But He Wouldn't Be a GOP Congressional Nominee Without the Name Daddy Dan Made Infamous

Ben Quayle sat in Jon Kyl's office on February 14. Quayle already had privately made the decision to run for Congress in Arizona's Third District, and with the junior U.S. senator having once represented Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, Quayle was turning to him for advice.

Quayle had yet to announce his candidacy to the public. "There was a plan in place — we had talked this through," he says later.

As Quayle discussed strategy with Kyl, his father, former Vice President Dan Quayle, appeared on Fox News. He recited the Republican mantra that the Obama administration has an attitude of "we know best." He asserted to host Meghan Kelly that Obama "talk[s] down to the American people" and that it is time for a "new generation of leadership."

Then, the gaffe-prone former national politician blurted:

"The big news is, my son, Ben Quayle, today filed his papers for congressman of the Third Congressional District here in Arizona. That, in the Quayle family, is big news."

Dan Quayle had just outed his son's candidacy on national television.

"My phone, luckily, was on vibrate, and it just started going crazy," Ben Quayle recalls. "Vibrating, vibrating, vibrating!"

Unaware of what had just happened, "I'm thinking, 'It's probably somebody just saying they had a kid and sending around congratulatory e-mails.' So I finally got up to leave Senator Kyl's office, and his scheduler came in and said, 'By the way, your dad just announced your candidacy on Fox News.'

"My jaw hit the floor. Senator Kyl just kind of looked at me, and not really believing it, I looked at him and said, 'Senator, he's my biggest liability.'"

Quayle laughs at telling the story, but if he didn't know already, he was soon to find out just how much his father would affect his candidacy.

Naturally, Dan Quayle's accidental announcement wasn't only big news in the Quayle family. Within hours, the blogosphere was abuzz that the son of the former vice president — whose career became defined by public humiliations — was running for Congress.

Comment sections on blog posts were littered with "potatoe" comments (about the heralded time Dan Quayle misspelled the word) and sarcastic jabs at both Quayles — like one posted on the Web site Talking Points Memo saying, "This guy sounds impressive. He has to get his daddy to announce his candidacy for him."

Ben Quayle's record of professional achievement is sparse, and he has no experience in public service, so initial impressions were that he must be the intellectual midget that his father was portrayed as being — despite the younger Quayle's three-time Academic All-American honors at Duke University and his passing the bar in three states after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Then, came the charges of entitlement and immaturity.

Quayle's famous (some would say infamous) last name put a target on his back. But it also gave the fledgling candidate instant name recognition, which early on made him a frontrunner in the GOP primary for the Third Congressional District — his lack of political (and even life) experience notwithstanding.

He drew fierce criticism from his opponents in the 10-person primary, including from former state Senator Pam Gorman, who told the Arizona Capitol Times, "There's 10 people in this race, and there's nine of us [who] may not agree on anything, but we all agree that it is completely offensive that Dan Quayle is trying to buy his little boy a seat in Congress."

Ben Quayle says he knew his name would generate public interest, but he didn't expect things to get ugly so fast.

"I didn't know it was going to be almost visceral," Quayle says of the uprising against his candidacy. "I think I underestimated how much local and [especially] national interest there would be. I didn't think anybody would care [nationally] — it's a congressional race in Arizona, you know? But it was a combination of things. Arizona was in the news a lot with [Arizona Senate Bill] 1070, and there was [U.S. Senator John] McCain's race."

Despite the negativity from his opponents — politics is a dirty game — his last name has benefited his quest to go to Washington. It has allowed him to raise a huge amount of money — more than the average 33-year-old fledgling candidate with no legislative experience could hope to raise. His father's sitting at the right hand of President George H.W. Bush for one term has paid dividends.

The elder Bush even held a fundraiser in May for Quayle at Bush's home in Houston, and Quayle's campaign contributors include former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, recent U.S. Senator (from North Carolina) Elizabeth Dole, and legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

During the primary, Quayle was able to raise about $1.3 million. The runner-up in the campaign-funding game in the race was businessman Steve Moak, who raised about $790,000. Ex-Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, endorsed by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, raised about $500,000.

Despite news that he was linked to a raunchy Scottsdale Web site and wrote under the name of a character in a movie about the porn industry — which didn't play well with GOP voters, naturally — his name recognition and money helped him pull off a narrow win. He led the pack with 23 percent of the vote (Arizona political races are decided by plurality, with no runoffs required).

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46 comments
Matt
Matt

Uh, man..this is so wrong. Why in the world would somebody vote for a "bonehead" like Quayle? I'm just very disapointed in the people I share this planet with..this is your proof that you have intelligence and can make rational decisons in daily life? Apparent not after seeing the way some of you voted. Maybe, it's a good thing, that only about 50-60% of the adult population votes after witnessing this aberation against nature..

Screwyou
Screwyou

do you hear that? No one is listening....or reading...The Old Times. Enjoy bankcruptcy court

HELLS ANGELS
HELLS ANGELS

send him over to 147 west mojave st we have a boxing ring there. i will challenge him to a boxing match to see what he is really made of. im 67 years old. im sure if he is who he claims to be he can whoop at 67 year old 1%er biker.

HELLS ANGELS
HELLS ANGELS

Ben is simply a rich kid nerd dork geek wimpy boy pussy. my old lady could whoop his ass.

Kingediii
Kingediii

Go Ben, slay those liberal idiots! If Obama is not the worst president in history, he sure is trying!

Cajungman
Cajungman

well macainlost my vote so does kyle and im going to cancel my sub. to arizona rep. news paper backing a prono king what this this fuckin state coming to .

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

Tomato, I have every right to be on this blog. This is not like Dailkos where a bunch of Ivory Tower spinsters correct you afar from their ivory towers. I am candidate in this race. I'll get off this blog when pigs fly and by the way don't go into telling people's futures, you'll go broke. By the way, over on the D.I.N.O. site Dailykos their listing your buddy hulburd (the Democrat in name only who supports s.b. 1070, Bush era tax cuts for millionaires, is against same sex marriage and the immediate repeal of DADT) as leading Quayle by two percentage point with ten percent un-decided (look it up on Huffingtonpost.com). What this means that I as the Green party candidate will point out to people what a hypocrite he is for calling himself a democrat when he is in effect a republican that needs to stop mis-leading people and state his true beliefs rather than betraying his corporate democrat parties so called Progressive principles. Okay...nitty gritty, I am the only tru Progessive in this race and a damn liberal at that and guess what ? I will be on the ballot in two weeks and I will make sure that he doesn't get the votes he needs to lie his way into this congressional seat. Mr. Hulburd needs to come clean and stop running as a democrat because he does not hold the views of a democrat, oh...but I forgot the democrat party is the "old republican party", class, wealth and power.Vote Green party, we now hold the views the democrat party sold out on !Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidate for:Arizona congressional district #310-18-10Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidate for Arizona Congressional District #3

Tomato
Tomato

Leonard, get off this blog, will ya, so people can talk about the actual story? You haven't got a prayer of winning and yet you've written War and Peace.

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

KAET Public Television Continues the Exclusion:Just got off the phone from an official from KAET public television in regards to why as the Green candidate was excluded from the televised debate which included the Republican, Democrat and even the Libertarian, more excuses and then I asked what he could do to make up f..or this: Nothing !

I told him that I did not in essence believe that his apology was sincere, especially in light of the fact that they were not willing to put out via their air time a brief message stating that unlike my republican, democrat and Libertarian..., lawyer/millionaire opponents that I am STRONGLY AGAINST s.b. 1070, The Bush Era tax cuts for millionaires and STRONGLY SUPPORT "The Dream Act" !I told him that he had given air time to every one of the above non-Progressive congressional candidates, which includes the democrat (John Hulburd) who supports s.b. 1070 and the Bush Era tax cuts for millionaires, while he as the democratic cong. candidate does not support The Dream Act.The moral of the story boys and girls, Public radio and television across this country get donations now from corporations and wealthy individuals in the democrat and republican parties, we Greens do not as a matter of principle accept any moneys from corporations or businesses. Cha-Ching money in the bank for KAET public television and KJZZ public radio in the Phoenix metro area !Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidate for Congressional district #310-18-10

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

Just got a message from KAET public television telling me that the reason I just happened to be left out at the debate was because they thought that I was not endorsed as a Green candidate by the Green party and that they're sorry if that's the case then...why did they let the Green party candidate for governor Larry Gist (who is un-endorsed by theGreen party) participate in the governor's debate? I'll tell you why: He's a fake and he's not really Progressive. The moral of the story is these millionaires and their monopolistic political parties (republicans and democrats) "can't handle the truth" by having a candidate telling the tru...th !I will be giving them a call tomorrow as they left a number for me to call if I have any questions, your da*m right I have questions !Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidatefor Arizona congressional district #310-17-10

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

It's awful funny that KJZZ and KAET let on the three candidates who are not Progressives and yes...that means Democrat John Hurlburd who publicly supports sb 1070, the Bush era tax cuts for millionaires and opposes the "Dream Act", while I Leonard Clark the Green party candidate strongly oppose s.b. 1070 as racist, the Bush era tax cuts for millionaires as gimmicks to enrich the top 2% of this nation and strongly SUPPORT the "Dream Act".Yes, it's awfully strange that they won't give any time for the stances of the only Progressive in the race but it doesn't take a genius to figure that out: Both the republican Quayle and the Democrat Hurlburd are millionaires who have spent over $1,000,000 dollars on their campaigns (and who knows where that comes from in light of the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling) while I the Green party candidate follow the platform of our Green party which does not accept money from corporations or businesses.KJZZ and KAET are...surprise, surprise in the pocket of the millionaires and the elite moneyed ruling class of this country. What a pity they're so angry about the Facebook group I have started http://www.facebook.com/profil... exposing the fact that they will give republicans, corporate democrats and libertarians air time while excluding the one Progressive Green party candidate who is not a lawyer or a millionaire, cha..ching ! Money in bank !Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidate for:Arizona congressional district #310-17-10

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

Way to go KJZZ and KAET public radio and television, you let three of the four candidates on the air (democrat, republican and libertarian) for Arizona congressional district #3 while excluding myself the Green party candidate. Oh...and your reasons for doing so keeping changing: The first previous excuse, I have raised no money, oh...but wait the libertarian candidate according to opensecrets.org hasn't raised any money either, then you changed your reason for excluding the Green congressional candidate (myself) by saying on KJZZ yesterday, October 15, 2010 that Leonard Clark, the Green party candidate was not running a "credible campaign". You keep changing your reasons KJZZ (supposed public radio) but it's probably because I had the temerity to start a Facebook group stating this about KJZZ and KAET, again both supposed public radio and television stations for one of the largest markets in the nation. Yeah...you got your pay back by excluding my Green party candidacy while playing the other three lawyer candidates which I am not. But...I will not go away until everyone knows that you are not acting as true public radio and broadcast stations because of black balling my Green party congressional campaign. The number of people who continue to hear about how your indirect censoring of Green party candidates, (like other supposed public radio and television stations) around the nation will continue to grow. I can understand how the Phoenix New Times could exclude my candidacy and the libertarian candidacy because they are a private business organization but you are not, you are public entities. All I am asking as a endorsed Green party for Arizona congressional district three is to be fair. Your excuse that you cannot give broadcast to every candidate might hold were it not for the fact that in this specific congressional race you have given 3 out of 4 candidates the oppurtunity to aire their stances while disparaging my Green party campaign for Arizona congressional district #3.

You know my contact number please contact me at: leonardclark385@hotmail.comRespectfully,Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidatefor Arizona congressional district #310-17-10

phxpete
phxpete

Yes of course voters are idiots who only look at the guy's name.Yes of course all republicans chant the mantra like robotic drones.Yes of course all republicans have rich fathers and donors and that is why they get elected.I don't see any bias in this article.PNT is an insult to intelligent people.I wish I didn't have to see these dopey PNT headlines as part of my yahoo email.

Yuckymang
Yuckymang

Another dipshit we don't need America!

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

As the official Green party candidate for Arizona Congressiona district #3, I have been excluded from the electoral process by supposed Public radio KJZZ and PBS (KAET) here in Arizona. KJZZ, used the excuse that I did not spend any money for my campaign, so in conclusion, unlike my republican and democrat opponents who are millionaires, Public radio and television for one of the largest markets in the United States and whom take public money from listeners have deprived the people from even knowing that other official candidates even exist. I believe your article was very detailed but still dissapointed that you chose to not list the other two official candidates, Mr. Schoen for the Libertarian party and myself, Leonard Clark for the Green party. I have always respected the fearless reporting of the New Times but you seem to be repeating a common woe of American politics: A mainstream bias towards millionaires and the two big corporate political gangs, the Democrats and Republicans to the detriment of other legitimate smaller political parties that are just as official and legitmate. I hope that this will not be a trend because I have never thought of the New Times as a Main Stream Media publication. Thank you again, but please...include the other candidates in a particular race when you are covering " the two big corporate/political gangs."Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidate for Arizona Congressional district #3,10-15-10

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

Message from the Arizona endorsed Green party candidate for Arizona Congressional district #3:My republican opponent Ben Quayle and more stunningly my democratic opponent John Hurlburd both support the racist Arizona law s.b. 1070 and support the Bush Era tax cuts for millionaires,in addition they both stated to the reporters in front of the Arizona Republic Editorial board (which we all attended as congressional candidates together in the same room)that they would not vote for the "Dream Act".Now...the above stances are not surprising for a republican like Ben Quayle but a democrat like John Hurlburd? This is why I got out of the democratic party and joined the Green party, they do not take corporate nor business campaign contributions. The democrat John Hurlburd may be a democrat in name but he is no Progressive to be supporting a racist Arizona law and Bush Era tax cuts ! I hope that you will vote for me on November 2nd, 2010.Sincerely,Leonard ClarkArizona endorsed Green party candidate for Arizona congressional district #3October 16, 2010

Jack Swift
Jack Swift

Who cares if he has kids? I care more that his daddy's buying him a seat in Congress, which was the point of James King's excellent story. Too bad his Democratic opponent's a DINO, is all.

Naoma
Naoma

HAVE YOU SEEN HIS CAMPAIGN AD? HE IS SHOWN WITH KIDS -- HE HAS NO KIDS. FALSE ADVERTISING. OPPONENT HAS 5 KIDS OF HIS OWN.

botanybay
botanybay

Good piece James. Finally someone sat down and asked him who HE was (not just what Hooman Karamian thought about him).

Cajungman
Cajungman

he ll fit right in ,in arizona polites. porno king thats what we need,along with the rest of the corput asswipes we have in arizona.

Steve from CD 3
Steve from CD 3

I tell you, people that have and will vote for this Idiot are not making a wise choice for Arizona. I live in that congressional district and we had some good Republican choices till this boob came along. Now he's probably going to be handed this gig on a silver platter cause the idiots in my district just can't see past their own noses to check on the background of a candidate. Goodness, what will happen next.

Jack Swift
Jack Swift

Now Jfs1954, why would *Phoenix* New Times write about Patrick Kennedy, fucking Republitard? Kennedy isn't running here, your poor dearie! Little Tater Tot is. Loved the "Forty-Year-Old Virgin" shot, too. That was almost better than the tater tot image.

Jfs1954
Jfs1954

I won't bother to check the New Time/Village Voice Media archives to find a similar article about Patrick Kennedy...it won't be there.

Mcascketta
Mcascketta

Man I was hoping this site had intelligence. None here. Huldburd is my choice. The haters placed me at his doorstep!

FamValues
FamValues

Hulburd loves to talk about "dirty" writings. I wonder if he has any dirty manuscript writings of his own? I bet he does...something for which even his mother could be proud....

Jules
Jules

Anybody seen any pictures lately of Hulburd on Thunderbird trips? I'm a Nancy Pelosi liberal and sure hope those don't come out...

Louis
Louis

Sex-change recipients, men who secretly change to women, are 850% more likely to prey on children. They are dangerous predators in our neighborhoods. Congress is considering legislation to ban this surgery. Ask Hulburd if he supports this ban, and supports criminalizing those that abet these predators.

Hank
Hank

Hulburd = Pelosi

Schadenfriend
Schadenfriend

If Hulburd could run a decent campaign he would have a shot. Instead the message has been largely negative and focused upon Quayle's youth and his idiotic blogging on The Dirty. I admit I've been a Quayle basher for months, as I think he's an empty suit who I know hasn't had a "real job" in his life (just ask anyone from his last firm what his work ethic was like). But Hulburd sure isn't doing himself any favors, and the limited positions I've heard from him don't differentiate him from the Republicans. At least Quayle has taken political stands, even if they are the party line or ridiculous statements like the Obama ad. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually considering holding my nose and voting for Quayle.

TeoBuneo
TeoBuneo

Poor Ben, the SOB can't even run for Congress without mommy running the show. Witness, this recent statement from the boss about his opponent; Marilyn Quayle describes Hulburd as "a guy who hasn't worked in, what, 14 years, or something like that? He spends his wife's money, that's what he does." Wow, guess Danny is a lot like dad, needing that firm hand in control. Loved the wonderful shot of Dan and Tiffany standing behind a demure Marilyn Quayle.

Theoldman
Theoldman

I keep getting confused. Is Ron White, the comedian, nicknamed Potato Salad and his son called Potato Tot?

Is Ben Qualye then the son of Ron White?

helentroy4
helentroy4

Just looking at this guy gives me the heeby jeebies.

FaithHopeCharity
FaithHopeCharity

also, Quayle hadn't married his wife when Shadegg retired, so it would have been impossible for him to discuss it with his wife (unless like at least one of his GOP cohorts he has two families). Quayle's been a "family man" for about six months, forget about the fake kids, how about the fake wife?

Whitmoseley
Whitmoseley

Why did we ever give up Monarchy? It works great for the Brits! I think all political office should be inherited and I'm sure I can twist one of the founding fathers' words to agree with me!

Garyisabusyguy
Garyisabusyguy

what can we expect from an inexperienced legislator with a famous name and lots of GOP money behind him?

Same thing that you would expect from any republican in Congress, obeyance to the party line and an all-out effort to stop any positive movement introduced by the Democratic party

Dezzertguy
Dezzertguy

Well the Quayle's can be happy with the current administration. Joe Biden makes Dan Quayle look like a statesman. At least Ben could run, Beau Biden was afraid to try for the Senate given the nature of his dad. The two people that Obama and Biden make the most happy are Jimmy Carter and Dan Quayle.

mother
mother

there's got to be someone better to write a story about

Cajungman
Cajungman

you are so full of chit i can smell it from here asswipe.

USA
USA

I agree with TOMATO(E)....LOL

Leonard, you don't stand a chance, so why even BOTHER........

Cajungman
Cajungman

you still smell like chit asswipe go clean yourself with green paper and drink more tea .

Cajungman
Cajungman

the reason you got left out because you smell like shit ,couldnt stand the the smell

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

Your good at complaining but as usual have no solutions. But that's alright when people go to vote on November 2nd, 2010, they won't see your complaining, whining name on the ballot they'll see a Green party candidate who doesn't take money from corporations and doesn't King Bush Era tax cuts for millionaires. It's easy to sit up in the stands and yell, where you'll never know victory or defeat but quite another down in the arena where I am my fellow candidates are.Leonard Clark Green party candidate for congress against millionaires.

Cajungman
Cajungman

it wouldnt supprise me if he is the apple doesnt fall far from the tree probabley the hold Q, family is in to prono.

JB
JB

Umm, I'm sure they were engaged for a period of time before their marriage, so it was very possible to discuss it with his future wife. I don't think there's anything fake about his wife or his marriage.

Cajungman
Cajungman

she probabley a prono queen that he meet on aprono meeting

 
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