Kennis campaign still heading in right direction
Minor setback means little to this Grimes straight-shooter.
By Jon Gaskell
The Mark Kennis Campaign for
President took a bit of a blow last week, actually, you might say, it inhaled.
"I'm not hiding," Kennis told me, though, offering up no smoke screen whatsoever. "If you need anything, anything at all, call me." He sat on his living room sofa, his nose scrunched up. He smiled. He shrugged.
Every day I look at a picture that is crudely taped above my desk of former Presidential candidate Gary Hart. His arms are crossed, a scowl over his face. He had been caught red-handed, you see, a victim of something that is becoming more and more popular in politics today: frequent horniness. But he made one big mistake, even bigger than the monkey business between he and Donna Rice. He, unlike Mark Kennis, tried to hide it, tried to cover it up and deny it.
Kennis and Hart, both huge fans of breasts, legs and thighs -- although Kennis, like most other married me, prefers his on a plate with the feathers plucked out -- had early setbacks in their campaigns for the Democratic bid for President of the United States. However, one of them, Kennis, kept his chin up and said, "This is me. This is what I'm all about." This other one did not, and it cost him dearly.
"I'm not sorry," Kennis told me, a pained expression settling across his face. "I need to smoke pot, and I need it bad. But I can't because of the pre-trial release." He shook his head, a hand across his stomach. It was easy to see that Kennis, the guy who lives on Fourth Street, has long, silent moments and takes 13 pills every day just to take the edge off his pain, was feeling ill.
It's been said that it takes a big man to admit when he's wrong, and Mark Kennis is not a big man. Actually, that's not true at all. He's really quite big. He even had a television show for big people. And, when one gets to know him, he or she will find that he is big on commitment and big on frankness as well. He pulls no punches, speaking in direct sound bites, his point crystal clear every time. And, at the moment, he is insisting that he has done absolutely nothing wrong. He's sick. He's overweight. And he's in constant pain. Marijuana, he remarked, helps all three.
"It really, really does," he said to me.
An advocate is someone who speaks out, often louder than anyone else, for something that he or she feels is right and just. For Mark Kennis, that something is the legalization of marijuana. He talks to groups of people about it. He writes articles about it. He floods media offices around the state with his opinion about it. And, of course, he uses it with some frequency. But he has never tried to hide it. No sir. And that's just Mark Kennis. What you see is exactly what you get.
This is not about sitting around and getting stoned to the be-Jesus-belt. It's not about a fellow out looking for a good time and discovering it through illegal drugs. This has and always will be, according to Kennis, about a sick man doing whatever he can to take the pain away and feel good. Therefore, it's difficult to think that Kennis, who when first arrested faced a $178,000 bond -- a sum which is more that a lot of alleged first-degree murderers might pay for bail -- is some sort of threat to society or is really doing something wrong. In fact, I don't think we should either fear him or feel sorry for him.
Mark Kennis and his campaign are going somewhere. It's not quite clear where that might be exactly; but as long as he's up front with what he's doing, it helps him and his health conditions out and doesn't really bother anybody else in any way, shape or form, is this little ripple really worth you casting your vote for someone else when the time comes? Didn't think so.
Grimes Today, Volume 1, Issue 31
Thursday, 25 March 1999, page 23
Post Office Box 190
Adel, Iowa 50003