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Ear to the Ground

Kucinich Names Obama the Best of the Rest

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Posted on Jan 1, 2008
Obama and Kucinich
AP photo / Charles Rex Arbogast

Dennis Kucinich is encouraging his supporters to caucus for Barack Obama if he, Kucinich, fails to meet the minimum threshold of support. Iowa Democrats are allowed to re-caucus if their preferred candidate doesn’t perform above a certain level, usually 15 percent. Ralph Nader, meanwhile, disclosed that he prefers John Edwards.

The endorsements are significant considering that the caucus race appears too close to call. A number of polls released with only days to go show different candidates with leads. One thing most agree on is that many voters in Iowa still haven’t made up their minds.

AP via Google:

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday asked his supporters to make rival Barack Obama their second choice if he doesn’t meet a cutoff point for voting in Iowa’s caucuses.

Kucinich, an Ohio congressman at the back of the pack of Democratic hopefuls, seemed to concede a loss in the caucuses. He said his recommendation was for “Iowa only.”

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The Nation via Yahoo:

Nader has been edging toward this “endorsement” in the last couple of weeks. In an appearance on “Hardball,” in mid-December, he said Edwards “now has the most progressive message across a broad spectrum of corporate power damaging the interests of workers, consumers, taxpayers, of any candidate I have—leading candidate I have seen in years.” He went on to explain that “the key phrase is when he [Edwards] says he doesn’t want to replace a corporate Republican with a corporate Democrat.” Nader told Politico, ” it’s the only time I’ve heard a Democrat talk that way in a long time.” For Ralph Nader—and take my word for it, please—that is rare praise for a leading Democratic politician.

In throwing his support to Edwards, Nader was scathing in his criticism of Hillary Clinton—calling her a “corporate Democrat ...[ who ] ... has not led the way against the avalanche of military contracting, corporate crime, fraud and abuse.”

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 3, 2008 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

Yeah Tony, your right. I like Edwards and a trial lawyer in that position would be good for all of us. 

I would like Kucinich to realize his dream and the one most of us have, seeing Cheney and Bush answering for their crimes. 

If the writers are still on strike it would be a real good reality TV show and get good ratings.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, January 3, 2008 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

I’m watching MSNBC. Looks like a huge turnout. Lots of women, young people, first-time voters.

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By Tony Wicher, January 3, 2008 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

I can’t see Kucinich as AG. He’s not even a lawyer. Ambassador to the U.N. looks best for him. What about Edwards for AG?

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment


In re-reading the article, (just to make sure that I understood it the first time) it says this:

Dennis Kucinich is encouraging his supporters to caucus for Barack Obama if he, Kucinich, fails to meet the minimum threshold of support. Iowa Democrats are allowed to re-caucus if their preferred candidate doesn’t perform above a certain level, usually 15 percent.

So, the wording is that Dennis Kucinich is ENCOURAGING his supporters to caucus for Obama.

It doesn’t give me the impression that he’s trying to ‘tell’ anybody who the should or should not support.

You could support Mickey Mouse if you wanted to.

So, suggesting that you suspected ‘better’ of him, is really sort of an indication that you must not have ever supported him yourself.

I think this elevates him, in the spirt of party unity…something we haven’t seen in a real long time.

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Daniel in Honolulu,

You’ve got some good points. BUT..I’ve got another take, to be honest.

I agree that the GOP would rather run against Hillary, but I ALSO believe that if they have to lose, they would RATHER LOSE TO HER!!

Hillary, among ALL of the Democratic candidates, is FAR, FAR closer to the repug agenda. As a matter-of-fact, as far as I’m concerned, she’s a repug.

So, I suspect that any other democrat besides Hillary, will give the GOP a run for their money. I think they’d be perfectly satisfied with her, if they have to lose to anybody.

Sounds cynical? Well, that’s the way they operate.

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Nope, NEVER enough to matter. The name should be a dead giveaway.

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

I like it too Tony. wink

But, not to be a killjoy or anything, John Edwards is making quite a showing himself.

Not to be dismissed.

Still, this IS great news…

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By PatrickHenry, January 3, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Kucinich as AG?                         

I would rather see Kucinich as AG instead of VP.

Cheney on a spit.

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By Freedomfinder, January 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Dennis appears to be in the denial process over the loss of his brother.Grief is one of the most puzzling conflicts the psyche can ever encounter.

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By Tony Wicher, January 3, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

There’s always going to be a few lunatics like you. Not enough to matter, I hope.

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By Tony Wicher, January 3, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Any progressive who does not cheer this great news should have his head examined! Do you really insist on remaining politically alienated forever? Obama has brought Kucinich into the mainstream. This is absolutely critical. Can you imagine, for example, Kucinich as Ambassador to the United Nations in an Obama adminstration, with a huge portfolio to restore the effectiveness of the U.N., to join the International Criminal Court, to strengthen international law, and all the things that Kucinich talks about, like strength through peace. I can’t believe this is really happening! Kucinich and Obama supporters unite! We shall overcome!

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By whitebeard, January 3, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

The answer, I guess, is that he isn’t a Democrat either, just another Republican shill in disguise. Obama’s positions are all right-and-heading-further-right from what were once moderate Republican views. Obama is in fact another Republican pretending to be a Democrat espousing no truly Democratic positions other than racial equality. Little wonder the Republicans want to see him win Iowa and the Democratic nomination. That way the Republicans will have a lock on the Presidency no matter what the outcome in November.

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By Sharon Ash, January 3, 2008 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, that should do it for Obama, if the dozen or so people in Iowa who support Dennis throw their support behind him.  I frankly, am disappointed in Dennis trying to tell anyone who they should or should not support.  I would have expected better from him.

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By dihey, January 3, 2008 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

What I face in Texas is actually much worse. My vote for president will be counted but probably it will not count.

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By dihey, January 3, 2008 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

I now understand why this wannabe contest is called a “race”. It allows the regulated trading of racehorses.
The Democratic Party, which hollers “foul” about the voter’s photo-ID cards (by-the-way, I agree with the critique),is engaged in its own voter-repression in Iowa. If you are a nurse or policeman on duty during caucus hours, let alone an Iowan soldier in Iraq [!!!!!], you cannot participate. How disgustingly hypocritical! Of course the Republican Party is not any better but at least it does not pretend to be that Simon-pure.
I do not remember that my ballot for the presidential election ever contained an entry which asked: “who is your second choice”? Yet the idiotic Iowan charade may produce a winner who is elected on the basis of “second choices”. It is of course obvious why that is so. Without “second choice”, some Iowan caucusers may never be able to return home or must return home without having designated a “winner”, whatever that means. Folks, lets stop criticizing other nations for the way they select their leaders and fix our own bad habits first.
The only meaning of the Iowa caucuses is that a minuscule group of overwhelmingly white and privileged people tell me whom they want to be the final nominees of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Why that merits the huge media hullabaloo beats me. For me the Iowa result will be close to irrelevant.

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By Tony Wicher, January 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

As one who for the past year has had one foot in the Kucinich camp and another in the Obama camp, I am very gratified by this endorsement. Thank you Dennis, and I hope that you and your ideas will have a prominent place in an Obama administration. Strenght through peace! Right on!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

We have been Screwed for 8 years, tattooed is next then drunk, or do I have the order wrong?

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By Daniel, Honolulu, January 2, 2008 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In terms of electability in November, Obama has a huge advantage over Hillary. In theory, she would probably be a decent president, but she is far too polarizing to ever win a general election. If Hillary is having this much trouble against her Democratic opponents, it does not bode well for her fortunes in an election where she will facing a huge smear campaign that Republicans are itching to unload on her if she’s on the ballot. It’s fascinating how the Republican candidates love to mention Hillary as a way of turning out voters but they will seldom speak Obama’s name. You could argue that she’s more of a lightning rod than abortion or gay marriage.

For a party that is having difficulty mobilizing their base, the GOP’s job would become much easier if Hillary were the Democratic nominee. Even if the pro-life “family values” Christian voters have reservations about the Republican nominee (whoever it may be), they would show up in droves just to vote against her. However, if Obama is on the ballot in November, many of the anti-Hillary conservatives will simply stay home and complain about what the world is coming to. Many Democratic voters are either unaware of this or they are so loyal to Clinton that they turn a blind eye to her general election weaknesses.

Anyone whose had any exposure to conservative political circles knows that a huge chunk of the country has hated Hillary for decades and they always will regardless of what she has done or said since her husband left office. Obama has far less baggage and GOP smear campaign fodder. Some Christian conservatives are genuinely intrigued by him because he seems more authentic and coherent when talking about his faith as opposed to Hillary who sounds mechanical and pre-programmed whenever she tries to discuss anything related to religion.

The GOP candidates won’t admit it, but they strongly prefer to run against Hillary. She’s an easy target and their best hope to keep the White House in Republican hands until 2012. You’ll have a hard time finding any religious conservative over 35 who could be persuaded vote for Hillary. However, many of them have still not made up their minds about Obama which opens up the possibility for him to win their support in a long election season.

Bottom line: Clinton could still get the nomination, but she can’t win in November. Obama’s biggest challenge is beating Hillary in the primaries, but if he does, Obama has the chance to unite the country in favor of true change and win the general election comfortably.

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By PatrickHenry, January 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

A real endorsement.               

My stock in Obama just rose.

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By babette, January 2, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

VERY possible

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 2, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

First off, the only candidate who has “resonated” with me is Kucinich.  He’s the only one consistently FOR getting out of Iraq, consistently FOR the working person and consistently FOR the people taking back our government from Big Money.

As I look back on the televised debates, I don’t understand why, if Kucinich REALLY wanted the job, he didn’t protest on national TV the sham that those debates were every time he participated.  Bottom line might be that that is exactly what would have captured the attention of voters and, in fact, they may have lost respect for Kucinich because they knew, like he did, that the debates were bullshit.

I’m reminded of Ronnie and the points he made with the electorate by saying “I paid for this mic, Mr. Green (I think his name was.)

The Big Three or Four will do nothing for common people and I’m surprised that, if Dennis is really sincere in his positions that he would sell out to them.  Now I feel worse about all this than I ever did.  We’re really screwed.

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By Bill Blackolive, January 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Be cool would Obama get in.  I cannot tell is he this square or just hip.

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By QuyTran, January 2, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Who cares ? I won’t !

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By GW=MCHammered, January 2, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

petty revenge
elevating ego
vindictive side
deviating on the issues
one big goose-stepping Nation
sham of all his appeals to peace
makes a mockery of everything with his capitulation to party over principle

You just described the Bush presidency.

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By hazmaq, January 2, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You people who once defended Kucinich and now turn on him make me sick.
Do you actually think he should have given Edwards his support when Edwards tried getting him out of the race?

Edwards has proven to be a selfish narrow minded spotlight loving corporate attorney.

Think Edwards is a people guy do ya?
His very first year in office he joined with the Republicans to pass the ‘revised’ Bankruptcy bill.  A bill so heinous and heavily weighed in favor of business that even Hillary Clinton refused to sign it.  Edwards also voted against a Paul Wellstones amendment -supported by the majority of Democrats.

Outside of Iowa Edwards has no support -not even in his own home state -again.

Dennis Kucinich is a party hero - so get off his ass.

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By RdV, January 2, 2008 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

No reasoning with them. They fancy themselves as the only ones with the gnostic “eyes to see” akin to the end time believers that they are the elect. A certain elitist superiority assumption, don’t you think? 

  I really don’t care whose ring you’ve bowed down and kissed.

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By Myrtle, January 2, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Oh Lordy! I give up. Throwing words around is a tactic perfected by Republicans.

Having met Kucinich, and having watched him now for years, I don’t see him as “seething,” EVER, or “immature.” (And “cult worshippers?” Jeez Louise!)

For those who have eyes to see, let them see ...

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 2, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Is it possible, Obama offered the VP spot to Kucinich?
Seething is not a good thing to use for making decisions, if true I am dissapointed.

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By RdV, January 2, 2008 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

I watched the debates and it was transparent enough that Kucinich was sullenly harboring hostility towards Edwards. It is an immature aspect of Kucinich’s character that actually serves to undermine the issues he claims to champion for his little payback games.
  It was predictable and now his cult worshippers husltle to rationalize the action. Pathetic is the word.

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By Myrtle, January 2, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

You say:
“Kucinich was seething”
“petty revenge”
“sullenly elevating his ego”

How do you know what Kucinich’s motives (and emotions?!) are? The words you chose to use were loaded with emotion. It’s likely you are reading something into this that does not exist. Better to stick to the facts.

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By John Borowski, January 2, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe it is futile to vote because we don’t have the country we had when the Do-Good Liberals (Good is bad) ran things. People should boycott the Presidential Elections until they can get a guarantee their vote will not be stolen by the Republicans (Aka Conservative right wingers). As it stands now we have the Republican foxes guarding the hen house ballot boxes. To me, it is insulting my intelligence and human dignity to stand in long lines for hours to vote when my vote will wind up in the Republicans’ vote count. Anyone with an IQ above sixty should know that the 2000 and 2004 elections were a fraud. Not only can the voting machines be easily flipped to the Republicans’ side, but there is no paper trail to prevent or expose the theft. On top of this, the voting machines are owned by ardent supporters of the Republicans. (Aka Conservative right wingers) If there is no possibility to have a fair election then we are emulating a freedom democracy dictatorship type election. As it stands now we can only vote for Republicans that are ninety nine percent for big business (Fascist).  In the old days we could vote for Democrats provided they swore on the bible that they would be no more than twenty-five percent for the average guy. All other political parties had less chance than a snowball in mythical hell. We really don’t vote for the president, the Electoral College does. (People that represent foreign interest) The Electoral Circuit Breaker would go active if the people voted for a person of another political party that was not compatible with Republicans (Aka Conservatives right wingers) or the ” Democratic twenty-five percenters”. If the American people behave and vote for the Republicans, the Electoral College will go along with the voters.

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By RdV, January 2, 2008 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Kucinich was seething after Clinton & Edwards had their little pow-wow to see if they could pare down certain participants from the debates.
  You could say Edwards deserved it—but the stakes require rising above petty revenge. It reveals Kucinich sullenly elevating his ego over the issues. Thumbs down.

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By RdV, January 2, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

The gatekeeper of the Left flank champions issues and then makes a mockery of everything with his capitulation to party over principle. All of his New Age platitudes are as phoney as Obama’s I’m-a-uniter-not-a-divider bs. Excuse me, but change is not in uniting with Neocons or the Religious Right. Being one big goose-stepping Nation is not the change we should be championing. Obama is an empty suit playing a role, but not really deviating on the issues. Kucinich reveals his petty, vindictive side that makes a sham of all his appeals to peace and cosmic love when he transparently seeks to stick it to Edwards.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 2, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

For me Obama and Edwards are even in standings on issues, but why Obama instead of Edwards? Any insight?

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