Tune in to The Tom Joyner Morning Show, a nationally syndicated radio show with 8 million listeners in 105 markets that airs locally on Old School 100.3, and you’re likely to hear a surprising guest: political consultant Ken Smukler, whose morning-after Republican and Democratic debate commentaries have people talking. Whether he’s wondering who put Hillary Clinton in a “yellow Kimono” or littering his soliloquies with references to the feud between Meek Mill and Drake, Smukler morphs from suburban dad into hip-hop aficionado with a penchant for saying just what you’ve been thinking.
Smukler has been Joyner’s go-to political commentator for over a decade, when the consultant ran something called The National Voter Hotline, a call-in service that made it easier to register to vote and to file voting irregularity complaints. He became the program’s voice on voting issues, often calling out Republican efforts to suppress turnout. Joyner invited Smukler to join him and his listeners on one of his “Fantastic Voyage” cruise trips to benefit the Tom Joyner Foundation. That’s when Smukler realized he didn’t look like Joyner’s audience thought he did.
“I can’t tell you how many people told me, ‘I didn’t know you’re a white guy,’” he says. “The irony is not lost on me, that a white guy can do this. Not too many white guys will say what I say. And that’s why I love doing it. Because they’ll let me say anything.”
Here’s the latest Smuk report, from last week’s primaries:Photo header: Flickr/Gage Skidmore