Jerry Springer rules out Senate run. He says too many voters have a negative impression of him because of his talk show

By Gary Susman
Updated August 06, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Today’s Jerry Springer topic: ”Help! My Talk Show Is an Albatross!” Let’s meet Jerry, who announced Wednesday that he’s decided against campaigning to be the next U.S. Senator from Ohio because the stigma of his talk show has alienated too many potential voters.

”As long as I’m doing that show, my message, no matter how sincere and no matter how heartfelt, does not get through to the people I need to reach,” he said during his announcement in Columbus, according to the Associated Press. Such talk from Springer is the opposite of what he’s been saying for the past few weeks as he prepared to re-enter politics (he was mayor of Cincinnati from 1978 to 1981). Springer had filed the necessary papers for a Senate run and had been running fundraising infomercials that dismissed criticism of his daytime talk show (including complaints from fellow Democrats) as elitist snobbery. What others called pandering, he called populism, arguing that his show gave him a natural constituency.

On Wednesday, however, he acknowledged that voters have been unable to dissociate him from the brawling, exhibitionist behavior of his talk show guests. ”That separation obviously hasn’t taken place and would not take place in time for this election,” AP quoted him as saying. ”It has to be a political race and not [about] three transvestites and a midget on yesterday’s show — and it was a good show,” he said, according to Reuters.

Springer did see one way he could use his notoriety to his party’s advantage. ”If the Democrats think it would be helpful,” he said, ”I would endorse [President] Bush.”