Once upon a time there was a boy from New Jersey. Tall and athletic, he learned to play football at his elite South Orange prep school before entering the World Wrestling Entertainment ring. A few assault allegations later, in 2020, he ran to represent the people of Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. He lost.
Now, Daniel “Big Dan” Rodimer has thrown his 10-gallon hat into the race to represent the 6th Congressional District of Texas in this year’s special election to fill the vacancy left by GOP Rep. Ron Wright, who died of complications from COVID-19 in February.
Rodimer’s first campaign video is drawing attention for his apparent determination to be taken for a native Texan. Decked out in cowboy attire, he swaggers for the camera with a gruff accent wholly different from the mild speaking voice he used in past campaign videos.
To be clear, Rodimer is not a complete stranger to Texas. Politico notes that he used to work in Houston (which is over 150 miles from the 6th District), and that he owned a home in Galveston (which is even farther away). Still, the difference between “Nevada Rodimer” and “Texas Rodimer” is striking.
While Nevada Rodimer presented himself as a gentle giant and conservative family man, Texas Rodimer literally grabs the bull by the horns in his campaign video. Or, at least, someone wearing the same clothes as him does ― the rider’s face isn’t really visible while he’s actually atop the bucking bull. After a few seconds, we see Rodimer flop to the ground, having ostensibly given it his all.
The bull, by the way, is named “Nancy Pelosi.” It’s a metaphor, folks!
Mother Jones’ Mark Helenowski cleverly contrasts Rodimer’s twin personas in a video of his own:
With his new slogan, “Make America Texas Again,” Rodimer asks viewers to imagine a future America as it was in an imaginary past.
So far he hasn’t won major endorsements in Texas. But if this is anything like his last congressional run, Rodimer may be able to count on former President Donald Trump, the National Rifle Association and “Pawn Stars” host Rick Harrison to signal their approval.
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