What does a self-financed multimillion-dollar bid for Congress get you? For starters, a profile by Cosmopolitan, the go-to magazine and website for fashionistas. The candidate in question is Sara Jacobs, a granddaughter of La Jolla billionaire and Qualcomm cofounder Irwin Jacobs, whose connections to Manhattan’s public relations mill have previously been tapped to bolster the political career of another Jacobs favorite, Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher.
“It’s 5:30 p.m. at a trendy brewpub in Encinitas, California, with 25 beers on draft, and Sara Jacobs can’t have any of them,” begins the February 21 profile of the young Democrat, running in a crowded primary to fill the shoes of departing Republican congressman Darrell Issa in the 49th District. The story explains Jacobs forgot her California ID. “In a year when a record number of women are running for office, Jacobs, 29, stands out: If she wins her race, in California’s 49th district, she could be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.” How likely is that? Despite coming up with $1.1 million of her own money for the campaign so far, Jacobs has polled well down in the current pack of 12 candidates, garnering just 5 percent in a recent Union-Tribune/10News survey.
But Cosmo bears no particularly bad tidings. “Jacobs doesn’t try to hide the fact that she’s 29: She tells me she’s a Charlotte, likes to use the poop emoji, and is steeped in America’s Next Top Model. (When a photographer, also a woman in her twenties, encourages her to ‘smize,’ she delivers a self-assured gaze that would make Tyra Banks proud.) She is constantly connected to her iPhone to tweet and Snapchat.”
Adds the story, “Here is an incomplete list of the suggestions Jacobs has fielded on how to be a better candidate for Congress: Wear your hair straighter. No, add more curls. Actually, make it more ‘voluptuous.’ Inflect the end of your sentences down, not up — upspeak doesn’t inspire confidence. Shoot some ads on the beach in your bikini to corner the male vote. Stop being so obsessed with talking about your gender. Lose the frozen, forced smile. Speak like a grown-up, not a college kid. Don’t call voters after 8 p.m. — their wives might think you’re up to no good.”
But the Cosmo piece blew up for Jacobs when foes began attacking her apparent allusion to rival Democrat Doug Applegate as a “crusty old Marine,” and she was forced to apologize.