Our final thought: Jerry made right choice

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 8, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

At the end of each outrageous episode of "The Jerry Springer Show," the talk show host has his famous signature &uot;Final Thought&uot; segment.

In just a few short seconds, a very serious-looking Jerry Springer attempts to convince viewers that the wild, often meaningless program had at least a tiny bit of credibility. However, not even Springer himself could come up with a "Final Thought" to convince the people of Ohio that he would be a legitimate candidate for the U.S. Senate.

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On Wednesday, the king of trash-talk television informed reporters he would not seek the Democratic nomination for Senate. Even though his fame would have helped him some, he had a lot of factors working against him.

Yes, he was once the mayor of Cincinnati, but he hasn't lived, worked or voted in Ohio for more than a decade.

He was once a fairly respected television anchor and commentator, but he sold out. He left Ohio for Chicago to make millions of dollars off dysfunctional families, freaks and failures.

However, it was the show that brought him the fame and attention to fuel his bid to return to politics. But even he realized the show, in the long run, would hurt his chances of being elected.

''I'm making no decisions now about my future,'' he said Wednesday. ''I do know if I ever wanted to be a candidate in the future, I'd have to do it when I'm not doing the show.''

And given the fact he would have been taking on George Voinovich, who has dominated Ohio politics for the last 13 years, Springer knew his chances were slim.

Even his Democratic cohorts were against his candidacy. "He has no redeeming value," Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., said. Added Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle "I think we can do a lot better."

Perhaps Springer's biggest mistake is he believed the people of Ohio would be as gullible as the people on his television show or some of those who watch it. That's our "Final Thought" and it might be Springer's, too.