Can Mr. Smith-ereen Go to Washington?

Powerpop Star Sets Sights on Senate

Which brings us to his favorite topic: the Clintons. "It's obvious what Mrs. Clinton's agenda is," DiNizio says. "It's not about the Senate. It's about being Lady President. She is as duplicitous and morally bankrupt as [President Clinton] is. You tell me she didn't know what was going on in the White House when the [Monica Lewinsky] affair was happening? She is the most dangerous presence in the political world today. I'm running because I'm the anti-Hillary.

"Hillary desires nothing less than a complete revolution and reconstruction of society as we know it. She's a highly militant female. She has to be stopped," DiNizio continues. "There are a bunch of angry manhaters out there. They're trying to drive us [white males] out of business. They're indoctrinating a whole new generation of girls in grade school, high school, and college with this multicultural shit, which doesn't really teach people what they need to survive in society today. White men better get off their friggin' asses and vote for somebody who represents their interest."

Such statements are frequently made while DiNizio's follicularly challenged head is covered with a Homestead Grays cap. Is the Negro League merchandise a subtle way to land the urban vote? "Do you think any of these rap kids know who [the Homestead Grays] are?" he chuckles. "I doubt it. They probably don't even know who MC Hammer is."

DiNizio has never tried to pass for an innocent himself. Debauchery was and is a part of the rock star package. "I've done questionable things in my life when I was younger; back then we got drunk all the time, met girls. We had fun. We were rock stars. But I've never done anything like these [Clinton] people."

Just last year, while sizing up Don Fleming as a producer for his group's latest album, God Save the Smithereens, DiNizio and his bandmates evaluated Fleming's drinking prowess during a run through a plethora of Manhattan watering holes. "We wanted to see if he could keep up with us," DiNizio explains. Typical rocker behavior, if hardly the actions one would expect of a potential senator not named Ted Kennedy.

DiNizio won't have much time for such frivolity if elected, though. "I've had my share of fun over the years," he says. "Now it's time to make a difference in many people's lives."

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