There's a moderately entertaining Brazilian electro-pop band you've probably never heard of called CSS, which is short for Cansei de Ser Sexi. That's Portuguese for "I got tired of being sexy," a quote attributed to a Beyonce grown weary of her bootylicious image.
I'm thinking of this Tuesday night as I watch Elizabeth Kucinich, the leggy redhead whose husband (you may have heard) is running for president, being swarmed by cameras. She's a few feet from me in the "Spin Alley" area set up in the student center at Drexel University after the Democratic debate, where campaign officials stand in front of placards bearing their candidates' name and wait for reporters to show up for the post-game analysis. Dennis Kucinich, with the wife in tow, is the only actual candidate in the room, unless you count Gen. Wesley Clark, who dropped out early but now arrives sporting a grin and a Hillary button.
Anyway, Mrs. Kucinich is looking as if all the gawking is getting on her last nerve — maybe she saw "The Daily Show" Monday night and caught that "FLILF" segment. It's not new that Mrs. Kucinich is a stone hottie with a tongue stud and hair that appears longer than her hubby is tall; she's been on the campaign trail with the Ohio congressman for months now. But the latest rash of stories comparing and contrasting her hottitude vs. that of Jeri Thompson, also labeled a "trophy wife," has made her far more a rock star than Barack Obama seems lately.
(And how is it that Michelle Obama, a public relations professional with beauty-queen looks, has managed to remain gorgeous yet is still taken seriously by the same people who can barely contain wolf whistles while they gaze up at Kucinich? Can it really just be because Mrs. Obama married a guy her own age?)
Lucky for Mrs. Kucinich, when the media grows bored of this latest cycle of goddess-worship, they'll be able to switch easily back to the other preferred Kucinich storyline, though this is unlucky for the hubby. That's the one about Tin-Foil Hat Kucinich, the one who says the president needs his head examined, the one who claims (like 14 percent of Americans) to have seen a UFO.
This is the Kucinich the reporters default to when they tire of Elizabeth, because — duh — journalists are generally fairly lazy, and Kucinich is polling behind Stephen Colbert, and the sooner he drops out, the easier it'll be for everyone to keep track. What complicates this otherwise never-fail plan is that Kucinich isn't actually a loon, but a six-term congressman who shows up fully prepared and ready to articulate his positions, even when they're wacky. Contrast that to Obama, whose candidacy seemed to be shriveling before our very eyes as he fumbled his way through several key exchanges on the debate stage.
Yet, for a third-tier candidate with little chance of winning, that clip of Kucinich talking about flying saucers is the one you're all YouTubing this week. For that you can thank Tim Russert, who asked that inane question after admonishing the audience against applauding their candidate, lest they take precious time away from the serious business of political debate.