The Dude goes to Washington?

Jimmy Stewart was great as a U.S. senator in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” but that was 75 years ago. Today’s gutter politics calls for a different type of character, someone like the Dude.

We’re talking Jeff Bridges, the actor who played the Dude, the bowling slacker in “The Big Lebowski,” the cult classic from the Coen brothers.

A Montana woman has launched a drive to get the Democratic Party to nominate Bridges, who lives in Montana, to replace Sen. John Walsh as the party’s nominee on the November ballot. Walsh announced last week he was withdrawing from the race due to allegations that he plagiarized part of his Army War College thesis.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org started by Lizbeth Pratt of Billings, Montana, urging Democrats to select Bridges as their nominee.

“He has great name recognition! Charisma! Brains! He’s internationally reknowned, but he is also accessible,” the petition reads.

Plus, Pratt told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bridges “is the only candidate where you could post photos of him naked, smoking pot, and it wouldn’t affect him.”

Bridges, however, issued a Shermanesque statement Monday about his future as a politician on the Howard Stern Show.

“I looked down and I see this thing ‘Jeff Bridges for Senator’ and I said, ‘What?’” Bridges said. “There’s a group of people that have called in and want me to run for senator of Montana, like 1,000 people, and I said, ‘Sue?’ And she looks at me and says, ‘Don’t even think about it.’”

The Dude abides, but not in the Senate, alas.


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