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DECEMBER 13, 2007  

Dennis for President...what if?

I've taken several of the online surveys (here and here) that tell you which Presidential candidate best matches your political/social views, and Dennis Kucinich is always at the top of the list. The name is very familiar—he was mayor of Cleveland during a tumultuous time, and has been a Congressional representative for years. Heck, I even saw him and his wife at Foote's one day when I was buying sweet corn last summer.

There's no question that he's a courageous politician who speaks the truth as he sees it no matter how unpopular it may be. Watch this video to hear his view on healthcare. And listen to the audience reaction.

Problem is, he's one of the longest of the long-shot candidates. As so often happens, the election seems like it will not come down to voting with one's heart but with choosing the most pragmatic, i.e. "electable" candidate so we avoid another disastrous Republican presidency.

I'm not alone in my ambiguity. Cleveland writer David Budin shares his uncomfortable lack of enthusiasm for the man whose views agree with his in Kucinich is "The Other Woman" from CoolCleveland.com.

A point Budin makes that I never really considered is this:

[T]hink about Jimmy Carter. Not the 2007 Jimmy Carter, but the 1976 Jimmy Carter – the almost-totally unknown former Georgia governor, who started out going door-to-door, saying, “Hi, I’m Jimmy Carter and I’m running for President of the United States.” Big joke. Then he started winning primaries. Then he got the Democratic Party’s nomination. And then he was elected President of the United States.

I do remember the 1976 Jimmy Carter. I remember getting a fund-raising letter from this guy I'd never heard of, and in the letter he talked about reducing our nuclear arsenal. Not only was he unknown, but he was a "peace" candidate at a time it was less popular than today. And then he was President. Maybe it's time to start taking Dennis seriously.

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