David Wu’s Tiger Suit, Christine O’Donnell as Lady Bug & More Politicians in Costume (Photos)

Oregon Rep. David Wu might forever be associated with a tiger suit. See more lawmakers who play dress-up.

David Wu

How many political scandals start with a tiger suit? There’s at least one: The one that bagged Oregon Democrat David Wu, who until recently represented the state’s first Congressional district. The photo of him dressed in this tiger suit was sent to a staffer in November 2010, shortly after his re-election. The photo went viral, and “David  Wu tiger” became the most popular Google search term for the congressman. Despite a tradition of embarrassing photos taking down other members of Congress (hello, Weiner!), Wu managed to weather that storm, but another one was on the horizon. The Oregonian later reported that an 18-year-old woman left a distraught voicemail for Wu, accusing him of an “aggressive” sexual encounter. While Wu insisted he did “nothing illegal” and he would be “vindicated,” he resigned shortly after and is being urged to seek treatment. No word on what happened to the tiger costume.

Christine O’Donnell

She famously told voters “I am not a witch,” but Delaware Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell couldn’t explain the lady bug photos. While her Senate campaign was imploding from her many earlier blunders, Gawker published an anonymous account of a man’s alleged one-night with O’Donnell. The author of the piece claimed O’Donnell showed up at his house on Halloween three years ago (he was renting it from O’Donnell’s aunt) and reportedly asked if she could change into a ladybug costume for a party there. While some details of the evening remain in doubt, the author sold the rights to the ladybug photos to Gawker, at least proving her taste in costume.


Rudy Giuliani

Who could forget Rudy Giuliani’s days as the mayor of New York City, when he so frequently dressed in drag? Some highlights: a skit from “Victor/Victoria” where he wore a pink ball gown and blonde wig and a Saturday Night Live sketch as an Italian grandmother—in a housedress and stockings. In the early days of the 2008 presidential campaign, when Giuliani led the polls, many wondered if the tough-guy image would be shaken by the cross-dressing antics—especially since he already had to contend with a cosmopolitan image associated with New York. The question never was really taken seriously, since Giuliani did enough damage to his campaign with the disastrous “Florida Plan.” But it was still the drag outfit that was blamed: Giuilani later reappeared on Saturday Night Live saying “one of my key mistakes, years ago, was when I hosted this show, I wore a dress. I really wish I could take it back … It was the dress that killed me.”

AP Photo (2)

Sarah Palin

When Sarah Palin was first announced as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, there were many who noted the politician’s similarity to comedian Tina Fey. Within a few weeks, Saturday Night Live announced Fey would return to portray Palin—and thus a legendary impersonation was born. Although some thought Palin would be outraged with the portrayal, her spokeswoman said Palin “thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween.”

Al and Tipper Gore

Al and Tipper Gore may have gained reputations as stiffs, but there was one holiday they always enjoyed: Halloween. The former veep and his former wife were known to dress up in costume every year and greet trick-or-treaters who visited the vice-presidential mansion. In 1995, they dressed as Beauty and the Beast.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

Michelle Obama

There was no shortage of celebrations for Halloween 2009, the Obamas’ first one in the White House. The north front of the White House was tinted orange with Halloween decorations, including three giant pumpkins—each weighing 1,000 pounds. Around 2,600 children from 11 area schools trick-or-treated at the White House, where they received White House M&Ms, a sweet dough cookie from the White House pastry shop, and some dried fruit. But nobody got in the spirit as much as some of the politicians. Although President Obama did not wear a costume, his wife Michelle donned a Catwoman outfit, former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs wore a Darth Vadar costume and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice dressed as Goofy.

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images for Unicef

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush

The once-notorious party-girl daughters of former President George W. Bush visited their party days again in 2010 when they dressed up for a UNICEF masquerade ball. Hager dressed as roaring 20s flapper and Bush dressed as fallen angel in black attire. They hosted the party before, dressing as cats in 2009—but perhaps chose new costumes for the following year after learning First Lady Michelle Obama had the same idea?

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Ronald and Nancy Reagan

Former President Ronald Reagan started his professional life as an actor, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of photos of him in costumes. But he donned this suit for a costume party given by Rory Calhoun in the 1950s.

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

Chuck Hagel

By 2007, Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel had plenty on his plate as he began openly speaking up against former President George W. Bush, despite having once been a supporter of Bush’s policies. But that didn’t stop Hagel from having some fun on Halloween: He dressed up as then-fellow Sen. Joe Biden, donning a Biden mask and a “Biden for President” mask. Biden got in the on the joke, saying “I’ll tell you what, Hagel for Vice President.” In his time in the Senate, Hagel made a tradition of dressing up as his colleagues. Over the years, he dressed up as Sen. John McCain, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sen. Pat Roberts, his Senate office said.

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck sometimes cannot pick a stance on any one issue, even costumes. The former Fox News host asked his devout fans to stop dressing up in colonial garb after his 2010 rally, telling his followers “don’t give the media even a chance to typecast you.” But no sooner had he asked his followers to stop with the costumers that photos of Beck showed up dressed up in colonial costumes—on Beck’s own personal website. Is Glenn for or against costumes? The world may never know.

Sebastian Artz / Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger

His Terminator days may have inspired millions of Halloween costumes, but don’t forget that Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to dress up as some more traditional costumes too. Before his days as the Governator, Schwarzenegger dressed up as a doctor for the 8th Annual Halloween to Benefit Children Affected by AIDS Foundation. He was joined by Jamie Lee Curtis, who dressed as a nurse.

Christopher Pike / Landov

Canada’s Governor General David Johnston

Canada’s Governor General David Johnston certainly joined in the festivities last Halloween. At his official residence in Ottawa, Johnston greeted trick-or-treaters dressed as a pirate. He wasn’t alone in celebrating—Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Lauren also posed with some of their own trick-or-treaters.