Why Can’t Dennis Kucinich Be More Like Jesse in 1988 Or More Like What Paul Wellstone Was?
Ideally, I’d vote for the most liberal Democratic Presidential candidate in the 2008 Texas primary. Regretfully though, that candidate in 2008 is likely to be the same person it was in 2004—Representative Dennis Kucinich.
I like Representative Kucinich well enough. I wish he were my Congressperson instead of the one I have. And yet–I can’t take Dennis seriously as standard-bearer for my views on the national stage.
My first vote for President was for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 Ohio Democratic Primary. I knew Jesse would not win the nomination, but he made it to the convention and he made his case with a strong speech.
The late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota considered running for President in 2000. He did not make the race in part due to severe back pain. Wellstone was the real thing and I think he would have done a great job carrying the banner as a serious candidate of the left.
Dennis Kucinich is no Paul Wellstone. I know some folks get excited over Kucinich’s push to impeach Vice President Cheney. To me, whatever I think of Mr. Cheney, that stuff is a waste of time. It marks Mr. Kucinich as a candidate of narrow segment of the left and not a candidate who can carry the message to a larger audience.
Reverend Jackson and Senator Wellstone were men with a more broad appeal than Mr. Kucinich. Mr. Kucinich won 3.8% of all Democratic primary votes in 2004. Compare that low number against the 29.1% of primary voters Reverend Jackson won in 1988.
It’s not all about the numbers. Beliefs count for a lot as well. But anyway you figure it, Dennis is not the man in 2008.