The Daily Show, April 11, 2011:
John Oliver: Help me understand how you have been re-elected in the state of Ohio?
Representative Dennis Kucinich: Harmony and understanding, sympathy, and trust abounding.
John Oliver: Are you quoting the musical "Hair"?
In the end, there just wasn't much harmony and understanding in the race for Ohio's ninth district. Dennis Kucinich, among the wackiest members of Congress, got beat decisively last night by his colleague Marcy Kaptur in very nasty Democratic primary. The two incumbents got lumped together after Ohio lost two seats in redistricting.
Kucinich was one of the least likely, most memorable members of Congress. He started his political career in the late '70s as the "Boy Mayor" of Cleveland. He entered Congress in 1996, and thanks to two no-shot-in-hell presidential bids, Kucinich came to be a favorite among lefty college kids and Birkenstock-wearers around the country. He was probably best remembered for trying to impeach Dick Cheney for his handling of Iraq and for his presidential push for a Department of Peace. There was also the recent revelation, courtesy of his friend Shirley MacLaine, that Kucinich had an encounter with UFOs. A great round up from the Washington Post highlights some of the particularly bizarre facts about "the vegan ventriloquist" and over at New York, Noreen Malone offers a nostalgic look at the congressman's career.
Ironically, it was Kucinich's efforts at political survival that might have done him in. The congressman has flirted with moving to Washington state to run in an open seat there. Kaptur ran ads hammering the possible move and even comparing Kucinich to LeBron James. Fighting words within 100 miles of Cleveland. Kaptur's hardly done facing characters though—she's got to beat the famous "Joe the Plumber" in the general.
Kucinich, characteristically, did not concede in the usual manner, stating that Kaptur "ran a campaign in the Cleveland media market that was utterly lacking in integrity." He may yet take his "harmony and understanding" to Washington state, although that could mean resigning from his current office. Or perhaps The Daily Show can offer him a spot doing his ventriloquism act.
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