Notice anything strange about that old woman in the background?
This is local politics at its absolute finest. Eight thumbs up.
The woman speaking is Sue Stenhouse, the director of senior services for the mayor’s office of Cranston, Rhode Island, and a former unsuccessful candidate for Rhode Island’s secretary of state. She was holding a press conference earlier this month to announce a new program where high school students would shovel snow for elderly residents in exchange for volunteer credit.
But look a little closer at the little old lady flanking her, throwing her endorsement behind Sue’s plan. Something seems a little bit off about her, right?
There is. It turns out she’s not a little old lady at all. She’s actually a male bus driver — whom Sue asked to dress up as an old woman for the press conference. They done Mrs. Doubtfired us, ya’ll.
Apparently, despite being the director of senior services, there wasn’t a single real senior Sue could roust into service (which is crazy, since old people love local politics and being asked to do stuff) — and the optics of the press conference necessitated one. So she had the bus driver put on a curly gray wig, makeup, earrings, a dress, and a name tag that read “Cranston Senior Home Resident.”
Unfortunately for Sue, people noticed — and word quickly got up to the mayor’s office.
She resigned from her job (and its $55,000 salary) a few days later. The mayor’s chief of staff wouldn’t comment on the resignation.
To her credit, I’d assume this is the most global interest anyone’s ever had in Cranston’s political scene. And it really opens the door for two pigs in a trenchcoat to get elected as some town’s comptroller ASAP.