Great news! Unless you are America. Geraldo Rivera said yesterday that he is considering a run for the Senate seat now held by Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). Lautenberg, who is currently 89, has not yet said whether he will run for re-election when his term ends in 2014. Newark's Democratic mayor, Cory Booker, has already said that he plans to run whether Lautenberg does or not. Rivera would be running as a Republican, though his mustache will likely remain independent.
Rivera told listeners on his Fox News show (if you haven't been keeping up with Geraldo's career, that's where he is) to "fasten their seatbelts" for what he obviously believed would be an eventful announcement. "I am and have been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey," he said, and "am truly contemplating" running for the New Jersey seat. Rivera did not say whether the "some people" had actually gotten back in touch with him—maybe he's just been leaving them messages—but he might have at least one supporter.
"Will you back me?" he asked guest Andrew Napolitano, a former judge and current Fox analyst. "Absolutely. Absolutely." Napolitano replied twice, before immediately qualifying said absolute support. "I would do everything that I could consistent with my contract with Fox," he continued carefully, "to help you get that job because you are an understander—a rare understander—of the nature of human freedom and the role of government in our lives." According to the report, Napolitano understood that he was speaking to Geraldo Rivera, and yet he continued, "I would welcome this as a great gift at this stage in my life that I could call you 'senator.'"
Subject to any applicable contractual or other limitations on said action, of course.
I, too, would welcome Geraldo's election as a great gift at this stage in my life, though for slightly different reasons. Who better to serve the American people as a senator and qualified understander than a man with this wide range of experience?
- Über-hyped a live broadcast of "The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults" before checking to see if there was anything inside (there wasn't);
- Told viewers in 1988 that "estimates are that there are over 1 million Satanists in this country … linked in a highly organized, very secretive network" (there aren't);
- Had his nose broken during an episode of his talk show in which he had brought together civil-rights activists and members of the White Aryan Resistance group, sparking a brawl;
- In a broadcast during the (second) invasion of Iraq, drew a map showing the 101st Airborne's current position and where it was headed, thus providing valuable military information to viewers and the enemy;
- Said on the air that Trayvon Martin's hoodie was "as much responsible for [his] death as George Zimmerman [who shot him] was."
- Later semi-apologized for that, saying "I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my 'very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies.'"
A great gift indeed. "Wouldn't that be something?" Geraldo mused about himself running for office. Yes. Yes it would.