THE BLOG
09/21/2012 03:33 pm ET | Updated Nov 20, 2012

Kinky Friedman Is Back on the Scene and This Time... He's Serious

If you're a Texan, you know the name Kinky Friedman. If you're not, you may have heard of his much-publicized run for the governor's seat against Rick Perry, his songs like "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in Bed," or his books with titles like Cowboy Logic, Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned, or Armadillos and Old Lace. He's an opinionated Texas Jew with a ten-gallon hat and the ubiquitous cigar. Hunter S. Thompson meets Yosemite Sam, with a little Mark Twain in there.

Friedman's back on the political scene, and he's gearing up for a gubernatorial run in 2014 - this time as a Democrat since, as he said on the phone, "Not even Jesus could win as an Independent." Some people were upset about his last attempt, saying that Friedman's run as an Independent in Texas took votes away from Democrats, but this time, he says, "I don't want to be Ralph Nader."

In 2010 Friedman bowed out of the race and in 2006 he battled it out against Republican Rick Perry as an Independent, using the slogans, "How Hard Could It Be?" and "Why the Hell Not?" He called for "the dewussification of Texas." This time, he's getting serious. "Action This Day" is the slogan he mulling over for this next go-round. "They want me to be serious," Friedman says of the people urging him to run again. "We've already had a comedian in office." In case you're wondering, that joker is Rick Perry.

Politics is serious business, even if we do love to mock elections and stump speeches for their often disingenuous mumbo jumbo. It might seem like Friedman, with his irreverent quips and outsider attitude, is just poking fun of the whole charade but this is a man who's passionate about politics. He just expresses that passion in a style that's way outside the norm.

Friedman is a guy who says, "I want to be an old-fashioned Harry Truman Democrat" and in the next breath blurts out: "When I die I want to be cremated so my ashes can be thrown in Rick Perry's face." If The Dude from The Big Lebowski were a real person and decided to run for office in Texas, his campaign might feel a little bit like Friedman's past bouts. But Friedman knows his history, and he cares. JFK inspired him to get into politics, and he wants to be "an outsider who can make a difference." It's no secret that Texas is conservative, but it's a place that also loves its renegades; it's anybody's guess what can happen when Friedman runs again.

"I suffer from the curse of being multi-talented," Friedman said over the phone, and it sounds like he's only half joking. When you figure that he's written multiple books (including Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die with his close pal Willie Nelson), he's touring with his band on the Bipolar Tour, running an animal rescue ranch called Utopia complete with a one-eyed horse ("there's a horse with one eyeball called Shalom - the horse is named Shalom, not the eyeball"), and gearing up for a primary - you kind of believe him.

We'll see what happens as the next gubernatorial race nears. In the meantime, Friedman will keep on playing music, writing, and smoking cigars "anywhere America will let me." Keep an eye out. As Willie Nelson told him, "If you fail at something long enough, you become a legend."

Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?