Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Freak show host ponders run for office

We here in Ohio have so much to be proud of.

All those U.S. presidents we produced. The Wright Brothers. Thomas Edison.

Jerry Springer.

Yes, the former Cincinnati mayor and current trash talk-show host (coming soon to Jerry's show: “My Son Is Dating His Ex-Wife's Dachshund!'') might just make a run for an Ohio-based office.

Or maybe not. He's not sure. He's still mulling it over.

(Also coming soon to Jerry's show: “My Daughter Is Shacking Up With My Ex-Husband's Girlfriend's Cousin's Step-grandfather!'')

See, he's thinking about challenging Republican U.S. Sen. George Voinovich next year. Or maybe he'll run again for his old city hall job in the Queen City in 2005.

Or, what the heck, maybe he'll put in for governor in 2006.

So many offices, so little time.

This is not, you'll recall, the first time Jerry Springer has given thought to trading in his TV freak show for a politico geek show. In 2000, he did a fair amount of thinking out loud on the subject of U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine's seat.

(I remember amusing myself by conjuring up how baffled the straight-laced Mr. DeWine and his staff might have been as they put together a campaign strategy against such a challenger: “Maybe I should just say, `Gee, I've never even been in the same room with a left-handed transvestite circus midget, let alone asked to interview one.' Would that be a good thing to say?”)

Well, why shouldn't Mr. Springer re-enter politics?

The world was just recently introduced to the musical “Jerry Springer - The Opera,” so why shouldn't we batten down and ready ourselves for “Jerry Springer - Politician Redux.''

(Soon to be the subject of one of Jerry's shows: “Gov. Bob Taft: Cutting The State Budget On The Backs Of Poor, Single Mothers By Slashing Medicaid!'')

Ach. That Ronald Reagan. See what he started? The line between politicians and entertainers continues to blur, and is now serviced by an always-spinning revolving door.

The former governor of Minnesota, a one-time wrestling star, is getting ready to save MSNBC's ratings.

Meanwhile, former president Bill Clinton keeps flirting with the idea of a talk show.

And all manner of politicians keep showing up on cable talk shows that pretend to be policy discussions but in point of fact are shoutfest entertainments.

(Up next on Jerry Springer's show: “People Who've Dated Politicians Disclose What `Bipartisanship' Really Means When The Lights Go Down!''

Oh, Ohio! And just when we'd rid ourselves of James Traficant.

Not that these two men have much in common.

Various accounts are floating around of Mr. Springer's perhaps surprising intelligence (his bizarre show to the contrary); he's been painted as a bright guy masquerading as a lowest-common-denominator TV personality.

Meanwhile, Traficant is a genuine, lowest-common-denominator kind of guy who for the longest time masqueraded as someone with sufficient brain power to hold elected office.

If Ohio is lucky, maybe they'll cancel each other out in the eyes of the rest of the nation, and we can start again with a clean slate.

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