Political junkies come in all sizes and obsessions. Some OD on polling data; some on subtle shifts in stump speeches. Some monitor local endorsements; others, the moods of the undecided.

And then there are a few of us who just want to peek behind the big velvet curtain to glimpse the below-decks galley of a presidential juggernaut. And for that, today we thank The Washington Post’s Ann Gerhart.

Gerhart has an uncanny and hawklike eye for the delicious and off-beat.

We discover that a makeup artist (who used to work for former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson) spent two hours Tuesday night with Kerry and his wife “making them look healthy.” (Kerry’s skin is very nice, we’re told.)

We discover that the candidate’s press staff hands out shopping tips for the traveling media, and that the eats while waiting for the vote count are pretty good.

The barometer of a surging campaign? “Who can pay for the sign-language person.”

Ultimately, Gerhart tells us, there is one “stamp of authenticity” that will officially designate Kerry a front-runner. (Hint: it involves people who wear funny gadgets in their ears.)

The stuff of history? Hardly.

Fun? Oh, yeah.

And we’ll always cast our vote for fun.

—S.Q.S.

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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.