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A Pierced Tongue in the White House?

Courtesy of

   Now here's another way that Dennis Kucinich stands out.

   If the former boy-mayor of Cleveland is elected next year, we don't just get a staunchly anti-war congressman as president. We get the first first lady in American history to arrive at the White House with a pierced tongue.

   Probably, no one should mention this to Laura Bush. She'd be falling face down in the Rose Garden canapes at the thought.

    But for a 30-year-old hipster Brit like Elizabeth Kucinich, a full head taller than her height-challenged man, a little tongue stud is hardly worth a mention.

   But you have to admit her 61-year-old husband has made the ultimate sacrifice for the youth vote. He married it.

   That's more than Bill Clinton could say.

   The truth is, in this field, big age gaps between the candidates and their spouses are less the exception than the norm. Jeri Thompson, at 40, could easily be husband Fred's daughter. And she looks it.

   Chris Dodd's second wife, Jackie, was barely old enough to vote when he first reached the Senate. (She couldn't when he entered the House.)

   By these standards, Rudy and Judith Giuliani, little more than a decade apart, are almost marital classmates. But then again, it's his third try, so he's had some experience working these things out.

   And Bill Clinton, at 61, is just 14 months older than birthday girl Hillary. Who can say whether this is good or bad?

   But it wouldn't be fair to call these candidates presidential groundbreakers in the May-December front. President John Tyler's second wife, Julia, was 30 years younger than he.

   Grover and Frances Cleveland were 27 years apart.

   I'll say this much with little fear of contradiction between now and November 2008:  Neither Mrs. Tyler nor Mrs. Cleveland had to remove her tongue stud before a state dinner was served.

   Bon appetit everyone.


  • Elizabeth Kucinich, 31 years
  • Jeri Thompson, 24 years
  • Cindy McCain, 18 years
  • Jackie Dodd, 18 years
  • Judith Giuliani, 11 years


About the Writer
   Ellis Henican is a columnist for Newsday. Readers may send him e-mail at
(c) 2007, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.
To see more of Newsday, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go here.


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ŠThe Voice 2007
01/13/2008 03:14:38 PM —