When then-candidate Walt Minnick announced he was "running, literally, for Congress in the 1st District of Idaho" he meant he was training to run the Boston Marathon to make a point about being healthy and to promote preventative health care. Who knew that once in office, he would continue running, only that it would be from people trying to ask the congressman questions.
In Idaho's 1st District, waking up to find out your congressman has done something bizarre isn't unusual. Characters like Helen Chenoweth, Butch Otter and the granddaddy of them all, Bill Sali, have recently graced the halls of Congress representing the people of Idaho with a style and flair that, at times, can only be called unique. Maybe it was too much to expect that Bill Sali's successor bring a little "normal" to the office.
I first saw this video clip from Huffington Post and FireDogLake blogger, Mike Stark, on MSNBC a few days ago. Stark was attempting to get Republican congressmen to state their position on the Birther Conspiracy Theory. Many attempted to avoid Stark and his questions; one ran, literally, from him—for what seemed like blocks. Seriously. Check the video. This congressman never gave his name or answered any of Stark's questions, he just bizarrely kept running. And then called Stark the scum of the earth. As it turns out, that was Idaho Democrat Walt Minnick.
Not sure why his first instinct was to run. Maybe he thought he was going to get cornered with a question on health care and maybe his campaign training kicked in. Maybe he knew what Stark was going to ask and, given that Idaho has its share of birthers among the population, didn't want to respond on the spot. Although, Minnick spokesman John Foster did tell the Idaho Statesman that any debate on that issue was silly, that Walt doesn't answer to ambush journalism and Stark should have called the office for an answer.
It does seem strange that a man who benefited from the efforts of bloggers when mired in a tough campaign against an incumbent who, had he not been one of those "Idaho characters," should have won reelection easily, would now be running from them. Maybe it's his positions on things like health care that has some progressive bloggers less than enthusiastic with Minnick's initial months in office that also has Minnick running from answering their questions and calling them scum.
In any case, add this to the list of bizarre antics from those representing Idaho's 1st Congressional District. Maybe it's the seat that's cursed.