Friday, November 03, 2006

“It’s the Turnout, Stupid”

Sixty-one-year-old musician and comic crime novelist Richard F. “Kinky” Friedman (Ten Little New Yorkers, Blast from the Past, etc.) gets a big write-up in Salon for his quixotic, independent campaign to become the next governor of Texas. “Friedman seemed to have a shot,” writes Lone Star State music journalist Rob Patterson, “especially since he faced a big field of weak candidates: an unpopular incumbent, an unknown Democrat, a marginal Libertarian, and a Democrat turned Republican turned independent. All he needed to win was a plurality of the vote, and stranger things had happened before. Like pro wrestler turned governor Jesse Ventura in 1998, he had become the poster boy for the burgeoning throw-the-bums-out sentiment of a particularly restive political year.” Yet, Patterson notes, The Kinkster’s illogical optimism--not unlike George W. Bush’s this year--glosses over the fact that “his poll numbers peaked at 23 percent in mid-September and have fallen as low as 13 percent in more recent surveys ...” The man in the black cowboy hat’s last hope is that his combination of liberal, independent, and college-age supporters will go to the polls in record numbers to put him into the governor’s office. Good luck, Kinky.

Read the whole Salon piece here.

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