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Kucinich brings liberal, spiritual, long-shot presidential bid to town

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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:33 PM
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Kucinich brings liberal, spiritual, long-shot presidential bid to town

Kucinich brings liberal, spiritual, long-shot presidential bid to town

Full story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001177...

By Bob Young
Seattle Times staff reporter

During a campaign swing through Seattle yesterday, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich made it clear where he stands among the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls: at the left end of the lineup.

Kucinich, the former "boy mayor" of Cleveland, is a vegan, a fervent critic of the Iraq war, a supporter of same-sex marriages and Ralph Nader's favorite Democratic candidate for president.

He wants to create a federal Department of Peace, a universal health-care system like Canada's, and new trade policies after withdrawing from NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Kucinich has won endorsements from Willie Nelson and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, not to mention Ben Cohen (of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream fame) and Ben Affleck (of J-Lo fame).

He garnered praise at several Seattle events yesterday for his unconventional views, which were sprinkled with terms such as "holistic" and "metaphysical."

"I like the fact he's coming from a different place altogether. He has a vision of politics and society that's coming from the heart," said Noah Skocilich, a student who came from Spokane to hear Kucinich speak at a University District church yesterday.

Kucinich talked to supporters about yoga and spiritual author Carlos Castaneda, but he also is known to enjoy bowling and polka and carries a 1965 baseball card of Cleveland slugger Rocky Colavito in his wallet.

Kucinich's presidential bid is considered a long shot because he lacks name recognition and campaign money. He has collected $1.7 million, according to the most recent campaign records. Rivals such as John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean have received more than $10 million each.

Kucinich told audiences yesterday about his humble roots. His father was a trucker and struggled to pay the rent. His family sometimes lived in a car. Kucinich was ridiculed in school for having just one pair of pants to wear.

<snip>

His tenure lasted just two years. He angered Cleveland's business leaders with his combative style and his signature issue: He refused to sell the city-owned electric utility, Muny Light, to banks the city had borrowed money from.

So the city defaulted on loans, and Kucinich was defeated in his re-election bid by George Voinovich, now a U.S. senator.

"It was shattering," Kucinich said in an interview yesterday.

Kucinich tried stints as a teacher, political consultant and TV reporter. "I was scrambling. I know what it's like to have the roof fall in," he said. "I went from mayor to someone who couldn't get a job because I took on the business establishment. That enlarged my capacity for compassion."

Fifteen years later, he got back into the electoral arena after the Cleveland City Council proclaimed him a hero for helping consumers by refusing to sell Muny Light.

In his four terms in Congress, Kucinich has amassed a near-perfect voting record with the AFL-CIO and the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Last week, Nader said he is urging Democrats to vote for Kucinich in primaries.

<snip>

In the past year, however, Kucinich reversed his position and now states that, if president, he would nominate to the Supreme Court only judges who supported the Roe vs. Wade pro-choice ruling.

Kucinich explains his turnaround this way: "I had an evolution in my thinking on abortion, which came together last summer. A woman can't be free without the right to choose. Anyone who wants to lead this country has to keep an open heart and I think I have."

Rebecca Kilpatrick of Bellingham said she was skeptical about Kucinich's shift until she heard him explain it. Now she's convinced he's sincere and "the most progressive candidate."

Also convinced is a group called "Feminists for Kucinich," which includes Grace Paley, the poet laureate of Vermont, the home state of Dean, Kucinich's chief rival for the affection of the party's left wing.

<snip>

"The more support Kucinich gets, the better for the Democratic Party," Licata added. "He bolsters the courage of the other candidates. The greatest thing about Dennis Kucinich is that he does speak up."

As for Kucinich, he assesses his chances by pulling out his Colavito card and recalling the day when the Cleveland star clouted four home runs in a single game.

"It tells me the importance of paying attention to the moment. I can hit a home run each moment if I remember what Rocky did."

Bob Young: byoung@seattletimes.com


Peace
DR




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AnAmerican Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great Article
Thanks for the link DR
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here's to a grand slam for DK!
:toast:
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yeah...it was a great article
sent by a friend...

Have you checked out
http://www.wewantkucinich.com

http://www.wewantkucinich.com/book-cd.htm
...they have some cool DK tunes to download...like the dub & GoGo Dennis...sure are some good musicians out there!!!


:hi: and g'nite mates!!

Peace
DR

( Maybe I did see the Pirates of the Carribbean movie too many times...savvy???)
:evilgrin:
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's great that he wants universal health care
...but does all this "spiritual, "holistic" and "metaphysical" stuff mean that the universal health care funding would be porked out to every "alternative medicine" scam artist who bothers to come to the trough?
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