The Peter Kinder Scandal -- Voices from the 34 Club
Peter Kinder blames the Stripper Scandal on Jay Nixon and the Democrats.
Albert Samaha "I think it's pretty typical for a politician," said England. "It feels like they're doing something like this all the time."
"Jay Nixon may want to make up false stories about the past," he said last Thursday, referring to the story Daily RFT broke earlier this month about his alleged creepy infatuation with former stripper Tammy Chapman.
Do The People believe him?
Sitting at the edge of the bar at 34 Club in the Central West End, Ben England, who is a pilot, thinks Kinder's denial is hollow. In fact, he wasn't even surprised when he heard Chapman's story.
"I think it's pretty typical for a politician," he says. "It seems like they're doing stuff like this all the the time."
One of Kinder's biggest obstacles in convincing the world that Chapman's allegations are untrue is the fact that the story fits right into the Sleazy Politician Narrative. This whole thing really isn't any more ridiculous than Anthony Weiner sending dick pics to random girls on Twitter or David Wu macking on an eighteen-year-old. As such, England wondered how politicians keep getting themselves in these situations.
"If he's gonna run for governor, he should be a little more discreet," said England, only half-joking as he sipped from a brown liquor on the rocks. "This is gonna kill his chances for governor."
Two women sitting near England, though, gave Kinder a ray of hope: They had not heard about the story. But after getting briefed on the details, they snatched that hope right back, pointing to the grip of the narrative.
"I believe the stripper," said one of the women, who said her name was Cinthia ("with an 'I'") Lulu. "I don't believe politicians. Strippers and politicians are both about the same to me. They both take money to climb up the social ladder."
What hurts Kinder (more than his morality and judgment being questioned) might be that his name irrevocably becomes a punchline. Kyle Russell, who is a chef, sat at one of the tables across from the bar and explained why he wouldn't vote for Kinder.
"The woman in the picture looks like a washed-up stripper to me," he said, with a cheeky grin. "And the fact that he's going for her -- I want my politicians like Bill Clinton, with a cigar in one hand and a young and fresh woman in the other. If you're a politician going for old and washed-up women, you're probably gonna go back to old and washed-up policy and we want new and fresh policy!"
Let's hope that Russell becomes somebody's campaign manager one day.