The journalist who bared his sole to President George W. Bush a decade ago has decided to run for office in his home country of Iraq.
Muntazar al-Zaidi infamously threw both of his shoes at Bush during a 2008 press conference, and now he wants to sit in Iraq’s parliament, BuzzFeed News confirmed. While his platform and party remain unclear, we at least know where he stands on the American occupation of Iraq.
“This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog,” Zaidi yelled in Arabic as he chucked his both of his size 10 shoes at Bush during the president’s swansong press conference with Iraq’s prime minister in 2008. “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bodyguards quickly tackled Zaidi after hitting (and missing) Bush. He was then arrested and sent to prison. But Zaidi was expecting much worse, his brother said at the time.
“He thought the Secret Service was going to shoot him,” Zaidi's brother, Maitham, told the Guardian in 2009. “He expected that, and he was not afraid to die.”
Zaidi, however, became a hero of sorts in Iraq. Pictures of Bush ducking were painted onto walls and printed onto T-shirts across the Middle East. And after nine months in prison, Zaidi was released to a new house and car, the Guardian reported at the time.
Now, Zaidi is running for Iraq’s Council of Representatives, comparable to the U.S. House of Representatives. Elections are scheduled for May 12.
Cover image: Iraqis beat images of U.S. President George W. Bush with their shoes in Kufa, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 as they demanded the release of Iraqi journalist Munthadar al-Zaidi who threw his shoes at President Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)