early and often

Worst Prez-Candidate Profile You’ll Read All Year — We Hope!

All smiles

He’s still more attractive than Giuliani. Photo: Getty Images

New York’s cynical presidential contenders might be floundering, but hey, have you heard that Dennis Kucinich has a hot wife? The Washington Post thinks you haven’t. Witness “The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich,” an annoyingly “voicey” feature on the candidate’s martial bliss. (“No Wonder the Candidate Saw a UFO. He’s Been Up There on Cloud Nine.”) The narrative’s the same as it’s always been: He’s a troll, she looks like Natasha McElhone with a tongue stud, and the marriage works because they’re both New Age weirdos. The Post even opens with that old chestnut about how Kucinich has “already won,” which might have been authored by the candidate himself, but still, as we’ve mentioned before, makes us feel weird when the papers run with it: There’s something awfully locker-room about it, this notion of a filly as a consolation prize. Or, rather, something out of Mad Men. “He is short, at 5-7,” we’re informed for the thousandth time in that retro-swinish cadence, “And she is — wow, she just keeps on going.”

And then, wow, the article just keeps on going. “Dennis Kucinich is the happiest candidate in this race. True, he is polling in the low single digits … True, he was recently the butt of jokes … But he has Elizabeth.” She is “tall, elegant, improbable.” When the reporter met the couple, she was “looking lovely, as usual — the red hair, the luminous skin, the green eyes, the fine cheekbones. Dennis was looking, as usual, like Dennis Kucinich.”

Enough of this, seriously. The only reason Kucinich isn’t a viable candidate — in the Perot-of-the-left sense — is the media’s across-the-board insistence on depicting him as a woodland creature. As a culture, we love the underdog but hate the hangdog — as soon as somebody doesn’t look like a winner, we gang up and cull him from the herd. Highlighting Kucinich’s wife’s looks is, oddly enough, just another way of humiliating him, and everyone from the far right to The Daily Show is equally culpable. Somehow the fact that this guy was mayor of Cleveland at 31 tends to be forgotten. Our mayor is five-feet-seven too, and no one other than Diane Sawyer has a problem with that. Then again, billions of dollars tend to add an invisible couple of inches wherever inches can be added. —Michael Idov

The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich [WP]

Worst Prez-Candidate Profile You’ll Read All Year — We Hope!