The mind boggles with possibilities at the thought of Jerry Springer, he of trash TV's leading (low) light, as a United States Senator.
The 55-year-old tube host is being wooed by high-level Democrats in Ohio to run there in the 2000 Senate race, today's Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
There was no comment from Springer. Others aren't so tight-lipped.
"I think Springer would be a viable, fascinating, interesting candidate for the U.S. Senate," Tim Burke, Democratic Party chairman of Hamilton County, Ohio, says in the paper.
Adds Burke: "Did you know his TV show is the No. 2-rated television show in the world?"
It's not clear if Burke also knows The Jerry Springer Show once taped an episode about a guy who married a horse. Or that Springer is television's No. 1-rated exporter of hair-pullin', chair-tossin', expletive-deleted brawls, this side of Monday Nitro Live. Springer's own bosses have become so fed up with the trailer-park antics, the show reportedly has been put up for sale by its distributor.
Controversial personality or no, Springer is a personality, not to mention a warm body, something Ohio Democrats have had trouble rounding up for the Senate race, the Plain Dealer says. Any Democratic challenger will have to go up against incumbent first-termer Mike DeWine, a 52-year-old family man (eight kids) and Republican.
"Jerry Springer may be the only guy left on [their] list," Gerald Austin, a Democratic consultant, tells the newspaper. "Who knows, Godzilla may still be up there, too."
Of course, unlike the Japanese movie monster, Jerry Springer does have experience at running for stuff (as opposed to running into stuff). As a young turk (and former aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy), Springer was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1971. And at age 33, in 1977, he was voted the city's mayor.
Springer being Springer, his public-service days were distinguished by a solicitation bust. (The incriminating evidence: The personal check Springer wrote out to the hooker.)
Despite all this, and despite his current M.O. as the anti-Oprah, a successful Springer Senate run isn't beyond the pale, according to Austin.
"If Jesse 'The Body' Ventura can get elected governor of Minnesota," the observer says in the Plain Dealer, "maybe Jesse the Body begats Jerry Springer."
Senate bid or no, Americans can rest easy that Springer never will be able to run for President. He was born in London and therefore ineligible.
Who says the Constituion doesn't work anymore?