Sue Lowden might not be done kicking up the dust in Nevada politics. In an interview just now with Chris Matthews, the former Nevada Senate candidate, who lost the Republican primary last year, was asked whether she might run for the Senate in 2012, if scandal-plagued incumbent Republican Sen. John Ensign were to retire. And on top of that, you might be surprised to hear what she’s doing now.
“If John Ensign doesn’t run, and Congressman Dean Heller decides not to throw his hat in the ring, I would think about it seriously,” said Lowden.
“But you don’t want to beat Heller?” Matthews asked
“I don’t think I can beat Heller,” Lowden said, laughing. “I mean, that’s an honest answer it’s a very honest answer.”
What’s the matter, Sue Lowden — chicken?
Lowden, of course, was the establishment-backed candidate in that three-way primary — only to bungle the whole thing with the “Chickens For Checkups” gaffe, when she suggested that people who can’t get health insurance should barter with their doctors.
When asked further how such an idea could work in a modern health care economy of lab work, pharmaceuticals, surgery, etc, she only dug in further:
“Let’s change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I’m telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I’ll paint your house,” she said. “[That’s] what people would do to get health care with their doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people.”
Lowden’s fowl gaffe made her a national laughingstock, and she then lost the primary to former state Rep. Sharron Angle — whom Nevada Republicans now regret nominating, after her extremist positions lost her the race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In the primary, Angle had 40%, Lowden 26%, and former UNLV basketball player Danny Tarkanian 23%.
Matthews asked her about the whole flap, too, in his own colorful way: “What’s this thing about going to the doctor and bringing your mule along with some produce, to pay the bill?”
“What’s wrong with that?” Lowden asked defiantly.
“I think it’s an interesting idea about a hundred years ago,” Matthews said, “but you got stuck with it looking like it was a live prospect, how to pay your health bill.”
“And all I was talking is what our grandparents did,” Lowden said. “And they did do that.”
(Note that, as the quotes above show, Lowden really was talking about this as a policy proposal. She also tried to spin it away during the primary, but it didn’t work.)
Matthews asked: “But why couldn’t you have a P.R. guy to get you off the hook?”
Lowden’s response: “Obviously not good enough!”
“It was silly, it was really silly,” Lowden concluded. “And now, guess what — I’m on the Nevada Medical Board of Examiners. So what is the irony of that?”