Senate Candidate Drops Out Of Race Due To Shyness

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Vol 36 Issue 06

Witty Remark Repeated Throughout Week

HIBBING, MN–According to coworkers at Hibbing Vacuum Repair & Supply, all week long, Ed Andersen has been repeating a witty remark he made Monday. The original quip surfaced when Andersen spotted ordinarily dowdy coworker Jim Billick sporting a tie and remarked, "Hot date tonight, Jimbo?" Later that day, Andersen saw Billick in the break room and told coworker Lydia Samuels, "Old loverboy here's got a hot date tonight." When Billick arrived at work Tuesday, Andersen asked him, "So, how'd your hot date go?"

Cocktail-Party Guest Cornered By Joel Stein

NEW YORK–An innocent Upper West Side cocktail party turned tragic Tuesday, when journalist Michael Conlon found himself cornered by Time magazine columnist Joel Stein. "There I was, making light conversation and sipping a dry white wine, when, all of a sudden, I heard those four fateful words: 'Hi, I'm Joel Stein,'" a visibly shaken Conlon said following the 45-minute ordeal. "We covered a wide range of topics, from Joel Stein's favorite restaurants to Joel Stein's dating prospects, to anecdotes about famous people Joel Stein had met." According to witnesses, Stein paused briefly at several intervals to make sure Conlon was still nodding politely before launching back into his otherwise non-stop conversational stream. Conlon is said to be "recovering well" after an overnight stay at Mt. Sinai Hospital and should return to the cocktail-party circuit by early next week.

Innocent Man Unrepentant

WARNER ROBINS, GA–Dwayne Worley, wrongly accused in the brutal Feb. 11 slaying of two Warner Robins teens, showed "not the slightest remorse" during cross-examination by prosecutors Monday. Witnesses at the trial said the innocent man denied all wrongdoing in "a flat, unemotional voice that displayed not a trace of regret or shame." Said prosecutor Russell Sharp: "Worley is a monster, an inhuman monster. What kind of man could react so indifferently to such brutality?" Worley, who calmly repeated that he was at a friend's house at the time of the double homicide, was likened to such sociopaths as Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler by a psychiatric expert called upon to evaluate his mental state. If convicted, Worley is expected to face the death penalty.

Converse High Tops Reveal TV Character's Eccentric Personality

LOS ANGELES–"Wally," the wacky-neighbor character on the ABC sitcom Mixing It Up, is identifiable as offbeat and eccentric by his red Converse "Chuck Taylor" high tops, it was reported Monday. "Wally is what you might call 'out there,'" producer David Dahl said. "He's the type of guy who marches to the beat of a different drummer. If you have any doubt, please direct your attention to his footwear." Dahl said Wally was originally supposed to wear one red high top and one blue one, but "we decided that would be going too far."

Area 31-Year-Old Can't Believe 'You Must Be Born Before This Date To Buy Cigarettes' Sign Up To 1982

KIRKLAND, WA–Purchasing a pack of Camel Reds at a local convenience store, 31-year-old Kirkland resident Andy Belfour announced Monday that he "can't fucking believe" the "You Must Be Born Before This Date To Buy Cigarettes" sign is already up to 1982. "Christ, I was a freshman in high school in '82," Belfour said. "Now, kids born that year are old enough to smoke? God, I feel so old." Belfour went on to recall that 1982 was the year The Replacements Stink came out, an album he bought on vinyl and played that whole summer while dating Alison Haiduk, his first girlfriend. He then ran his hands through his thinning hair.

My Mind Is As Sharp As It Ever Was

As I grow increasingly ancient, and therefore more prone to the rapacious violations of that great pervert Father Time, I become imprisoned in my own loath-some flesh. My fore-arms have mostly succumbed to the leprosy, my iron dentures periodically rust together, and, just yesterday, I was awakened from a sound sleep by the concussive gun-shot sounds of boils bursting off my calves.

Who Wants To Be A Jeanketeer?

Okay, kids, sharpen your pencils and get out a piece of paper, because it's pop-quiz time! I know, I know: You're all thinking, "Pop quiz? We read Jean's column as an escape from our dreary day-to-day routine! Now she wants us to take a boring old pop quiz?" But, hey, it's not a quiz about the chemical elements or who fought in the Civil War or anything. It's none other than the First Annual Jean Teasdale Trivia Challenge!

Stop Smoking Tips

Millions of Americans are addicted to smoking. If you are among them but don't want to be, here are some tips to help you kick the habit.

That Female Looks Capable Of Passing On My Genetic Material

Whoa, mama. Time out. Will you take a look at what just stepped up to the bar? Those hips. Those legs. Those breasts. That is one seriously fine-looking woman. I can think of a few things I could do with a body like that, no doubt. Yes, sir, now there's a female of my species who'd be more than capable of passing on my genetic material.
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Senate Candidate Drops Out Of Race Due To Shyness

KNOXVILLE, TN–Donald Miller, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, is dropping out of the race due to his inability to overcome his natural shyness, campaign manager Bruce Gilson announced Tuesday.

Donald Miller, who dropped out of the Tennessee Senate race Tuesday, reluctantly steps to the podium to address supporters at a December 1999 rally.

"After much contemplation, Donald has decided it would be best if he ended his campaign," said Gilson, speaking to reporters in front of Miller's Knoxville home. "During his run, Donald tried very hard to overcome his discomfort with social situations and his fear of speaking in front of crowds, especially people he doesn't know very well. But in the end, he just couldn't."

"Though he continues to care deeply about the people of Tennessee and the national political discourse," Gilson continued, "Donald has told me to tell you he thinks it would be better if a more confident, outgoing, attractive person represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate."

Added Gilson: "If you ask me, I think Donald is just being silly. He's a great guy if you get to know him, with a heck of a lot to offer constituents. And I really think he was starting to come out of his shell. But this is Donald's decision, and we need to respect it."

As Gilson spoke, Miller could periodically be seen peeking at the gathered assemblage from behind his living-room curtains. When a photographer noticed him and tried to take his picture, Miller darted away from the window.

Miller, a lawyer who worked in the Tennessee attorney general's office from 1991 to 1997, announced his Senate bid last September at The Hungry Caterpillar, a Knoxville used bookstore he frequents. He was surrounded by campaign staffers, all of whom were either immediate family members or close friends.

"Aside from the occasional stammering and the moment he read the same line twice, I thought he did terrific," said Miller 2000 co-chair Angela DeSoto, a friend of Miller's since their mid-'70s law-school days. "But, of course, he didn't think so. That night, he didn't even want to watch his announcement on the local news, saying that he hates the way his lower lip sticks out when he talks. The next day, when he saw his picture on the front page of the paper, he was mortified. 'I didn't know they were going to put my picture on the cover! I'm sweating, and my nose is bright red. And why did I pick that dumb tie? I look awful,' he said."

Continued DeSoto: "He was the same way when he heard one of his ads on the radio. 'My voice is so whiny and high-pitched,' he said. 'How could anyone take me seriously?' And so on. We'd try to persuade him that people took him seriously, and that he was extremely smart and capable. But the more we tried to convince him, the more he'd doubt it."

Richard Upchurch, a political-science professor at the University of Tennessee, said Miller's shyness clearly damaged his chances in the election.

Miller shuffles his feet and mutters during a Feb. 17 campaign stop in Johnson City, TN.

"It wasn't until two months into his campaign that he finally went out on the road to meet his constituents," Upchurch said. "He said he knew he couldn't get his message out to the people if he just stayed at home, but that's the only place he truly felt at ease."

Miller's actions during campaign stops worsened matters. He frequently concluded speeches with, "Vote for me–I guess." During a visit to a Murfreesboro high school, Miller shuffled his feet and stared at his hands as students attempted to ask him about his stance on various issues, answering questions in a barely audible whisper. While answering a question about abortion, Miller lost his composure and said he had to go to the bathroom to wash his hands. He was missing for more than an hour until it was discovered that he had escaped through a bathroom window and was hiding on the campaign bus.

But despite his bashfulness, Miller was getting through to certain segments of the electorate. According to a poll taken just one week before he dropped out of the race, 75 percent of registered female Democrats favored him.

"He just seemed so sweet and vulnerable," said Liz Oswald of Pulaski. "Everywhere he went, he was always so tongue-tied, you just wanted to wrap him up and put him in your pocket. It's really a shame he dropped out, because Tennessee could use such a sensitive, caring man in Washington."

"Don wasn't some charismatic, smooth-talking slickster, and he sure took his lumps for it," Gilson said. "It takes him a little while to get comfortable with people, and in a 12-month race, there's simply not enough time to do that, especially when you're talking about five million voters. I don't know, maybe if we got him on Paxil."

Later that day, a reporter phoned a housebound Miller and asked if he was considering seeking psychiatric help to combat his shyness.

"I didn't just drop out because of shyness," Miller said. "I mean, that was one part of it, but there were other things, too. I think my cats missed me, and the leaves were starting to fall off my aralia plant. I think people sometimes make too much of my shyness. I mean, not to contradict Bruce, who's been really good to me–he did make that speech for me this morning, and I told him what to say–it's just that, well, it's hard to explain. I..."

Miller's voice trailed off and, after approximately 10 seconds of silence, he hung up.

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