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Retired astronaut Mark Kelly announced today he's running for US Senate in 2020. Most people know Kelly as the wonderful husband of Gabby Giffords AND as the dude who served as the earthbound control subject while his twin brother Scott spent six months in space, resulting in minimal but measurable changes in Scott's gene expression (They both have very expressive genes). So you can't blame space radiation for Mark Kelly's decision to take the plunge into politics.

Kelly will be seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Martha McSally, who lost last fall's US Senate election to Kyrsten Sinema. But then Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to fill John McCain's former seat as a consolation prize, because shouldn't all failed candidates get a participation trophy? The 2020 election will fill the seat until the end of McCain's term, then the seat will come up for regular election again in 2022.

Here's Kelly's very cool announcement video, which hits all the right notes for a Democrat running for national office from a politically changing Arizona: You got your appeals to patriotism and bipartisanship, as you'd expect from a guy running for the seat once held by Mccain, but you also have appeals to the power of good government to do things to make the world a better place. The vid is very subtly titled "My Next Mission" and is in what looks like an IMAX theater's aspect ratio.



My Next Mission www.youtube.com

It's a really good ad and we didn't tear up at all at the part where Kelly talks about the 2010 assassination attempt that also killed six people. He says to Giffords that, what with being a Navy fighter jockey and an astronaut, 'I thought then that I had the risky job." Following photos of Giffords in intensive care and rehabilitation, Kelly quickly moves from the personal to the bigger picture:

One thing I realized early on was that Gabby needed me to help her through this. She needed an advocate.

Fuck you, shut up, you're crying.

You know, I learned a lot from being an astronaut. I learned a lot from being a pilot in the Navy. I learned a lot about solving problems from being an engineer. But what I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people's lives.

Per aspera ad astra, fuckers.

And here's Kelly's pivot to why struggling alone in Galt's Gulch isn't any way to run a country: We have to work together to improve the minimum wage, get everyone health care, and fight climate change. And while the video doesn't mention Donald Trump, he's very much a presence in terms of how Mr. Astronaut-Engineer says the machinery of government should work:

We've seen this retreat from science and data and facts, and if we don't take these issues seriously, we can't solve these problems.

Hells yeah. We're for Spaceman 2020 -- Kelly's campaign logo cleverly hints at the copper star from Arizona's state flag (though that has five points), and looks appropriately high tech, as he poses casually in front of the decommissioned planes stored at Tucson's Davis-Monthan Air Force Base:

Also! A fun trivia fact: Should Kelly win the primary (it's possible US Rep. Ruben Gallego will run as well), the 2020 race would feature a rare contest between former military jet pilots: McSally drove A-10s for the Air Force over Afghanistan, while Kelly piloted A-6 attack planes from the USS Midway during the first Gulf War. We are actually just going to go ahead and be tired in advance of all the "dogfight for the Senate" headlines right now.

We can even forgive Kelly for spelling his last name with one too few es, which has already resulted in far too many typos for us. Also to confuse matters for 2020, the new chair of the Arizona GOP is Martha McSally's 2018 primary opponent Kelli "Don't say chemtrails" Ward, so it should make for some interesting GOP infighting when Ward somehow has to feign enthusiasm for the candidate she deemed not cray cray enough just a year ago.

The real question: What job will Martha McSally get appointed to after she loses to Kelly?

[CNN / NASA / Mark Kelly for Senate]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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