Candidates usually cover their behinds, not expose them

It’s common for political candidates to shake hands and kiss babies for photo-ops, but a Hernando County Commissioner hopeful took things a step further and exposed his bare buttocks on national television. Though the stunt was probably intended to remain between friends, it should come as no surprise that if a television camera is around, nothing is private.

Jimmy Batten, a native of Brooksville and ranch owner, is one of eight Republican candidates vying for the District 5 seat on the Hernando County Commission.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Batten also has a stint on the Fox television reality sequel, The Simple Life 2. The show follows hotel heiress Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, daughter of singer Lionel Richie, on a cross-country trip that began in Miami and ended in Los Angeles.

The “celebutantes” worked on one of Batten’s ranches as a part of the series, and during their stay, the three became friends. In one particular segment Batten models a pair of leather chaps minus any covering underneath.

“If I had known the camera was rolling, I probably wouldn’t have done it,” Batten told the Times.

A viable excuse, but one lacking much common sense for someone taking part in a reality show — particularly one on Fox, a network that is slightly notorious for airing the more raunchy material.

It appears that Fox would agree, as spokesman Chris Alexander told the Times, “Paris (Hilton) and Nicole (Richie) were filmed from the moment they got up until they went to bed at night … and so were all the people they interacted with … Everyone knew that.”

As the episode featuring the incident won’t air until June 16, it remains to be seen if the stunt will hurt or help Batten’s campaign. While some voters may be disappointed to see a conservative candidate displaying less-than-conservative behavior, others may appreciate the human side of Batten displayed in his slip-up. What is known, however, is if someone doesn’t want to become the butt of a joke, it would be wise for him to keep the aforementioned body part covered when cameras are rolling.