McKinney has seen a whole lot of unfavorable media attention -- especially lately, following her kerfuffle with a Capitol police officer and the unfortunate series of interviews that followed to her caught-on-the-microphone scolding of an aide after a television interview.
But you don't have to read too much of any of the articles today about McKinney's loss to get a sense of just how tightly those public gaffes tend to stick. You can just read the quick, go-to descriptions of McKinney: "The fiery congresswoman" AP called her, "known for her conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks and a scuffle with a Capitol police officer." The New York Times settled for "the controversial incumbent congresswoman." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was a bit more pronounced, with: "perennial firebrand Cynthia McKinney." Eric Umansky's prefix in Slate's daily round-up of newspaper coverage, while pithy, might have just been the most on target: "wacky Dem. Cynthia McKinney."