Friday, December 07, 2007

Family History That Must Cheer the AG's Heart 

Posted by James at 10:45 AM ET

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
The Washington Post
Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has always been candid about wife Maureen's little secret: She's a former Redskinette!

(Actually, we think the lucky guy tells pretty much everyone . Heck, wouldn't you?)

But that bit of intel still managed to delight and titillate Old Dominion politicos last weekend at the GOP retreat in Crystal City, where the potential gubernatorial candidate hosted a reception with some autograph-signing Skins Cheerleaders, thanks to his wife's connections. Suddenly, the Internet was buzzing, and political blogger Howard Mortman was racing to be the first to post a vintage photo.

"I didn't know I'd be causing a ruckus at this age," the former Maureen Gardner, 53, told us. Ah, but there's something about a cheerleader. The Northern Virginia native joined the squad in 1974 on her second tryout attempt, not long after meeting Bob, and cheered through the 1976 season.

"I never got cut," she said, noting she left only to follow her new Army officer husband overseas. "I kept having those recurring dreams for years and years that I was back at the game and my uniform didn't fit and I didn't know the routines." She does still know the routines, though, and even joined the alumnae performances at a couple of games last season. "We joke that the coordination between our brains and our feet is slower now."

Will her cheering past help her husband's future campaigns? "My experience as a Redskinette has always been a plus, and it's always been a plus in our relationship," she said. "It's the football team for our nation's capital. It's such an American thing."

Maureen, Redskinette

See more classic Redskinettes/Redskins Cheerleaders photos at the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Alumni Association.

Labels: , ,