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The conservatives asked her to speak at a gathering in a Mexican restaurant in Burbank. That first political speech's talking points: "The Ten Commandments have been kicked out of schools. We're killing 37 hundred-something-thousand babies a day . . . I don't know, 37 hundred a day or something like that. A million a day, I don't know. I'm not good with numbers. We're killing lots of babies every day. It's infanticide. It's genocide. We are . . . How can God bless our country, seriously?"
She then attended what she says was L.A.'s first Tea Party rally, on the Santa Monica Pier, in February 2009, carrying a sign reading, "We don't want no socialism." She read to the crowd of 50 the definitions of capitalism, communism, and socialism. A week later, she was waving a Bible on The Sean Hannity Show. Soon she recorded a new song, "There's a Communist Living in the White House," in both English and inanely broken Spanish.
Victoria returned to Miami for good in 2010 to be with her pregnant (and married, she states pointedly) 25-year-old daughter, Scarlet. That airhead sitcom never panned out. Instead, she became a self-described "conservative journalist." In early 2011, she began writing for the right-wing website World Net Daily. She received loads of attention for her editorial on a kiss between two male actors: "Did you see Glee this week? Sickening!"
Around that time, she met Brandon Vallorani, founder of the website Patriot Update (motto: "A free press for the conservative revolution"; Chuck Norris is a columnist), on the Tea Party Cruise for Liberty, a weeklong boat ride. "We hit it off immediately," Vallorani says, and he conceived of an online show for her and three other mostly unknown conservative female contributors: PolitiChicks. It's billed as The View for right-wingers, and Victoria says she earns a "modest" living from it.
They've tackled the mystery of Area 51, with Victoria earnestly wondering whether Jesus died for aliens' sins. Then there was the episode titled "Who's More Racist, Blacks or Whites?" in which the discussion centered on a conversation the hosts had with a black airport baggage handler. Also: "Can Christians Vote for a Mormon?" (Answer from a cohost: "As long as he's not a Muslim, I think that's fine.")
The PolitiChicks videos that have gone viral have been roundly mocked on mainstream websites such as the Huffington Post, Gawker, and Comedy Central's Indecision. "A drugged-up 7-year-old" was how the site FilmDrunk described her oratory style. "She must have been dropped on her head," wrote a Daily Beast commenter. "This is so bizarre it seems satirical."
Victoria is hardened to derision. Her cohosts aren't. "We do want to be relevant," PolitiChick Ann-Marie Murrell says. They're looking for non-conservative guests and even a liberal cohost. "We don't want to be laughed at. That's something we're working on."
But in today's highly charged political climate, few Republican politicians are bold enough to declare her beliefs abhorrent. Republican Brevard County (Florida) Congressman Bill Posey, the author of the so-called birther bill challenging Obama's citizenship, recently welcomed her into his office to film an interview. The footage ends with a barefoot Victoria kicking a stack of congressional bills while yelling, "That's what I think of Obamacare! We the people!"
Victoria was a Michele Bachmann fan until she was knocked out of the presidential race. Now Rick Santorum is her fave. And one day, she might become a candidate. "I would run for office," she says casually. "I mean, especially since I'm getting old. I don't really want to be in front of the camera, but I kind of like to be around people."
Later she says, "I feel like I'm the only person who has reason, common sense, and sanity."
Victoria's mom, Marlene, had only one doll when she was a poor kid in Minnesota. So she has overcompensated in adulthood by clogging her daughter's old bedroom with hundreds of them. Most are from Goodwill. Heaped on shelves in Victoria's darkened room, they're in various stages of disrepair and hair loss.
On a reporter's recent visit, Marlene digs out one of her favorites, and while Jim and Victoria talk about gymnastics and politics around the table, she makes it kick and punch. It's a Barack Obama action figure. "I just think Obama is a very nice person," she explains matter-of-factly. "I like his wife and children. I think he's a good family man."
She also likes Oprah Winfrey, she adds. That sends Victoria into a spiel about how Oprah "brainwashed an entire country of housewives into the new-age movement — the oldest false religion in the world." (Yes, she's talking about yoga, karma, and nag champa.)
Jim punctuates her statement with his thoughts about Oprah: "I don't like her because she's fat."
Victoria's dad doesn't seem to put much stock in what Marlene says, though she's often an acute judge of her daughter. When the question of Victoria's motivation arises, she remarks, "I think she has tried to impress her father."
The conversation swerves to Obama's chances for re-election. "I think he has a good chance," Victoria says, "because the Latins will vote for him. The illegal aliens will vote for him."