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Campaign's top topic: Dennis Kucinich's sex life

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Campaign 2004, which sometimes begins to look like a cast reunion from "That '70s Show," sounded its most important call to date at a candidate forum in New Hampshire.

The question at issue was this: When are we going to find Dennis Kucinich a woman?

The forum was a presidential debate, of sorts. In the past month these enterprises have striven for some way to hold an audience. Voters will decide which candidate to support based on the economy. They will decide what to watch on television based on entertainment.

At Faneuil Hall in Boston, CNN sponsored "Rock the Vote." This was an opportunity for candidates to loosen their ties, slip off their suit jackets and pray nobody asked them Bono's real name. One attendee was slipped a question by a CNN producer who wanted to liven things up: Which do you prefer, Mac or PC?

Giving Democratic candidates a choice between anything and PC sounded like a setup from the start.

A few days later, the troupe skittered over to Manchester, N.H., where they promised both full employment and full abortion to a crowd at the Planned Parenthood candidate forum.

It was there that someone asked the candidates what role they envision for the next first lady. When his turn came, Kucinich was feeling a bit put out. That's because he had been put out, some years back, by the former Mrs. Kucinich and he has since then lived a monastic existence, shuttling between Cleveland and Washington like those fallen angels of Dante who were cast into the outer beltway of Hell.

"As a bachelor I get to fantasize about my first lady," Kucinich said as ushers blocked the doors. "I certainly want a dynamic, outspoken woman who was fearless in her desire for peace in the world and for universal single-payer health care and a full-employment economy. If you are out there, call me."

This sort of thing will happen when Democrats fantasize: A grown man describes his dream date and all one can do is picture Al Gore in a dress.

Another thing that will happen is that people out there will, indeed, call.

A Web site called, a dating service for liberals, teamed up with another Web site,, to find Kucinich a wife. Think about this: liberals are now so endangered they must be bred in captivity.

As of Friday, there were no fewer than 17 women offering themselves up to the amorous wiles of the Ohio congressman. "Barbara," of Michigan, (17 electoral votes, the folks at helpfully point out) mentions that she is a vegetarian and has "a politically correct professional ballet dancer of a daughter." Judy, age 45, of Ohio, (20 electoral votes) is "a good cook and can make a fine pierogi for Lent." Carol, of Delaware, (3 electoral votes) mentions that she is "a Sagittarius/Rooster," adding "Dennis, you are a Libra Dog -- according to my astrology writer Madame Lee, we'll be great friends and lovers, too."

Well, what a man wouldn't give to be someone's Libra Dog. Kucinich was unavailable yesterday to give his own views on this one. He was in Iowa (7 electoral votes) talking about single-payer health insurance and the war in Iraq, and possibly discussing with farmers how much water their prize hogs can displace.

He seemed sublimely unaffected by the bizarre interest in his sex life.

"Every time it's mentioned to him, he just laughs it off," said spokesman Chris Ortman. "We're kind of surprised at the interest in it."

In other quarters, Joe Lieberman unveiled a new ad in which he takes a sideways swipe at Howard Dean for saying he wants Democrats to reach out to guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks. John Kerry tried to talk about the environment to reporters who only wanted to ask about why he fired his campaign manager. George W. Bush sent his sister, Dorothy, to New Hampshire to file his candidacy papers.

Democracy, like matrimony, takes a bit of work and sometimes it just sits there waiting for someone to do something important.

Dennis Roddy can be reached at or 412-263-1965.

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