What's a good-looking young girl like you doing with a weird old guy like him? And what's up with the tongue-ring?
Norah O'Donnell all but asked the first question of Elizabeth Kucinich this afternoon, and did ask the second one.
View video here.
The MSNBC anchor scored a nice little scoop at about 3:47 PM EDT this afternoon with what was billed as the first extended cable-news interview of Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) O'Donnell proceeded to grill Elizabeth with some highly personal questions.
Norah wasted no time in trying to figure out what the willowy Elizabeth could possibly have seen in Dennis.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Dennis Kucinich is running for president and he is a five-foot-seven-inch veteran [read "old"] congressman who although consistently coming in at the bottom of the polls is very popular among young people. At his side, his running mate, Elizabeth Kucinich, a 31-year old, six-foot tall, red-haired Brit . . . How did you meet Dennis Kucinich?
ELIZABETH KUCINICH: It was my second week in America, at a meeting on monetary policy, meeting with several different people in Washington. Had an eight-minute meeting, and I just knew as soon as I met Dennis that he was my husband.
O'DONNELL: It is interesting [read "bizarre'] though, when people hear about it. You met him and were married to him within three months?
KUCINICH: Yes. We were engaged the second time that we met. I didn't even know what political party he belonged to and he knew nothing about me, but we just knew -- it was like a soulmate.
Norah continued to bore in.
O'DONNELL: What did you know, when you met him. I mean, second date, that you knew that you wanted to be married to him?
KUCINICH [with a pleasant giggle]: He was my man! I mean really, eight-minute meeting on monetary policy and just as soon as I met him I knew. I saw him and knew that he was the one.
Elizabeth obviously wasn't rising to Norah's bait, and so O'Donnell became more explicit in her challenge.
O'DONNELL: I mean I ask you that because I pointed out, Dennis Kucinich has been in Congress for a long time, and he's almost twice your age. I mean he's known in Washington as kind of a policy wonk, and you are obviously very beautiful. It seems to some people sort of an unusual match.
Elizabeth's ingenuous response couldn't have been more disarming.
KUCINICH: Well, I love him to bits in every single way. I love his mind, I love his work. I love everything about him. And I did from the second I met him. He has an incredible presence which is very . . . special.
A bit later:
O'DONNELL: America has had a tradition of having very traditional First Ladies [like Hillary Rodham Clinton?] You would be the youngest First Lady ever if your husband were elected president. You have a tongue ring! What about that?
KUCINICH [with a good-natured chuckle]: What about that?
O'DONNELL: Well, it's very unusual. I don't know that there are many political spouses who have tongue rings.
KUCINICH: Well, I'm 30 years old and I've had it for ten years. So I don't see it as being a problem. I do still wear pearls [touching the necklace she had on].
Did O'Donnell violate Elizabeth's zone of personal privacy?
If the answer is 'no,' and this was just good journalism, would O'Donnell ever dare pose similar questions to leading candidates or their spouses? For example, Norah found it in-bounds to wonder what Elizabeth saw in Dennis. Could you ever imagine O'Donnell asking Hillary or Bill what the dashing man-about-Yale saw in the girl with thick glasses?