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Thursday, February 27, 2003

 

Kucinich should withdraw http://talkingpointsmemo.com/feb0304.html#022603107pm

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, February 27, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The media, grasping for easy characterizations, has cast Kucinich as the "anti-Dean" and heavies like TNR have claimed that Kucinich is Howard Dean's worst nightmare. Hardly! Besides being a world of difference in their anti-war positions, Kucinich has enormous poliitical baggage that Dean is completely unencumbered with. Joshua Micah Marshall points to a Cleveland Magazine article - it seems that besides Kucinich's noted flipflops on abortion, he has a history of playing racial politics:

Basically, in the early days -- before he was running citywide, let alone nationwide -- Kucinich's political schtick was posing as the champion of the 'forgotten' white ethnic voters over against the rising force of black political power. Sort of a great white hope type, or great Slavic hope, if you will.

There was plenty of acrimony between blacks and white ethnic voters in Northern cities in the late 1960s and early 1970s. So it was fertile political ground. And playing on that divide for political gain was not at all uncommon. That fissure, after all, was one of the things that broke apart the Democrats' coalition in the North. Kucinich didn't create it. But at the time some pols chose to play to it while others didn't.

Now, what does it mean? This was a long time ago. And at the time Kucinich was, almost literally, a kid. When he was elected Mayor later in the decade I think he was still only 31. Plenty of folks from the South who are still active in politics today -- many of whom now get lots of black votes -- were still segregationists in the early 1960s. So people do change their stripes. And bygones often get considered bygones.


I think Daily Kos has it right when he says that Kucinich should immediately withdraw from the running. Whatever his motivations, it's too much baggage for a realistic candidate to carry.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.