Rappin' with Dick Gephardt

Published December 6, 2004 6:27PM (EST)

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.

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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