adBlockCheck

Senate Candidate Drops Out Of Race Due To Shyness

Top Headlines

Politics

How The GOP Plans To Stop Trump

In response to Donald Trump’s growing presidential primary lead, here’s how Republican Party leaders are ramping up efforts to prevent him from getting enough delegates to win the nomination outright.

It Unclear Why Thousands Of Loud, Chanting Trump Supporters Gathering Outside Arena In Iowa

‘There’s No Event Here, But They Keep Coming,’ Say Concerned Stadium Staff

DES MOINES, IA—Noting that the Republican presidential candidate had not announced any plans to visit Iowa since the state held its caucus 11 weeks ago, baffled sources reported Wednesday that it remains unclear why thousands of loud, cheering Donald Trump supporters are gathering outside the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Obama Caught Trying To Jump White House Fence

WASHINGTON—The White House was briefly placed on lockdown Friday morning after “an addled and emotionally distraught” President Obama was reportedly caught trying to scale the North Lawn fence, the third such attempt this year, Secret Service officials confirmed.

FBI Convinces George Clooney To Wear Wire During Clinton Fundraising Dinner

SAN FRANCISCO—In an effort to gather evidence in their investigation of the presidential candidate’s alleged misuse of her private email server when she served as secretary of state, members of the FBI reportedly convinced actor George Clooney to wear a hidden listening device Friday night while attending a campaign fundraising dinner with Hillary Clinton.

The Pros And Cons Of Voter ID Laws

Many states are pushing for stricter voter identification policies at the polls, while critics argue such requirements are unconstitutional and used as a means of voter suppression. Here are some pros and cons of voter ID laws.

Shimmering Immaculate Republican Candidate Appears Before GOP Officials

‘It’s Him,’ Stunned Conservative Leaders Mutter

WASHINGTON—Explaining how they froze in place and stared up at the miraculous vision in rapt wonder, members of the Republican Party leadership reported that the shimmering image of an immaculate, ideal GOP presidential candidate appeared before them for a brief moment Friday and hovered in front of the party’s headquarters in Washington.

Trump Catches Self Briefly Believing Own Campaign Rhetoric

‘Whoa, That Was Scary For A Second There,’ Says Candidate

BETHPAGE, NY—Admitting that he was overcome with terror after realizing what he had done, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told reporters he caught himself briefly believing his own campaign rhetoric during a rally Wednesday night.

Cow Ted Cruz Milking In Wisconsin Photo Op Only Giving Curdled, Foul Liquid

ALMA, WI—Saying the putrid stench of rancid dairy had caused numerous onlookers to gag and rush out of the barn, sources at Noll’s Family Farm confirmed Monday that only a thin stream of curdled, spoiled liquid was emerging from the cow that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was attempting to milk during a campaign photo op.

How A Contested Convention Would Work

With the Republican Party potentially headed to its convention without a clear-cut presidential nominee, The Onion answers common questions about how a contested convention would work.

Advisors Tell Trump, Cruz To Stick To Just Attacking All Women In General

JANESVILLE, WI—Attempting to reduce the negative publicity generated by their candidates’ recent attacks on each other’s wives, top campaign advisors reportedly instructed Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in private meetings Monday to stick to just attacking all women in general, sources confirmed.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Lawn and Garden

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.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close