Though he never was quite able to score the nod for veep, the veteran Democratic congressman from Missouri is probably still in the running for at least one title: the least hip politician in modern history. All the same, on the eve of his retirement from Capitol Hill, Gephardt is suddenly sounding a wee bit less wooden. He spoke with Matt Bai of the Times Magazine, where he praised Bill Clinton -- whose ability to "connect emotionally" makes him "the most talented politician" Gephardt ever saw -- and then dropped some 411 regarding eBay, iPod and Eminem.
Bai: I was at the flea market the other day, and they were selling the edition of The New York Post with the famous headline that said you were the vice-presidential nominee.
Gephardt: I thought I could get enough of them that I could support myself in retirement. I could autograph them and sell them for a little more on eBay, and get $5 rather than $3.
Bai: That's as good a retirement plan as I've heard from Congress in a while. What else have you been buying?
Gephardt: I did get an iPod. Oh, I love it. It's the best thing that ever happened to me.
Bai: What are you listening to -- political speeches?
Gephardt: The collected speeches of Newt Gingrich. That would be NO. I like Josh Groban. I like Tony Bennett. I like Nelly. He's from St. Louis. He's a very good rapper. I like Eminem. I have his album.
Bai: Some of the lyrics are a little hard to take.
Gephardt: Oh, I don't listen to the lyrics. I just like the music. I like the beat.