What was national television shockjock Jerry Springer doing at the recent Mahoning County Democratic Party Hall of Fame dinner? According to a long-time Democratic Party operative, Springer is testing the waters for a run at the Democratic nomination for governor.
A Republican insider who attended the dinner said that Springer stole the show and had Democrats eating out of his hand. (You don't get to be one of the most recognizable national television personalities by being a dud.)
If Springer, who had seriously considered running last year for the U.S. Senate against incumbent George V. Voinovich, decides to run, he will have a lot of money (he's rich) and will have instant name recognition.
But he will be dogged by his reputation as a sleazemeister. Criticism of his show can be expected from Democrats and Republicans, but he does have one thing going for him this year that he hasn't had in the past: The scandals in state government involving top Republicans.
If the GOP has the audacity to paint him as a sleazy talk show host, Springer can always argue that his television show is fake, whereas the Republicans' pay-to-play sleaziness is real.
Regardless, Springer's presence in next year's gubernational race willl bring true exictement to Ohio politics.