Dennis Kucinich is a Democratic congressman and presidential also-ran. Kucinich graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1973 with a BA and an MA in speech and communication. He began his political career early: he was elected to the Cleveland City Council at 23, and became mayor in 1977 at the age of 31. After spending much of the 1980's out of government, Kucinich was elected to Congress in 1996; he is currently in his sixth term. In Congress, Kucinich has a staunchly liberal and anti-war record. He is a strong advocate of national health care, clean energy, and an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Kucinich even brought articles of impeachment against Vice-President Dick Cheney, though the bill was killed before it could reach the House floor. Kucinich first ran for president in 2004; he ran again in 2008. In 2003, he received the Gandhi Peace Award, bestowed by the Quaker organization Promoting Enduring Peace. Kucinich is the author of a memoir, The Courage to Survive, as well as a collection of speeches, A Prayer for America.
Question: Why are you running?
Dennis Kucinich: Well, you know, I was asked those questions throughout my career. In 40 years, I’ve . . . I think I’ve had about 33 elections counting primaries and generals; won 25 or 26 of them. So I, you know . . . I know how to win and I’m prepared to be president. Now look, I know I’m an underdog. But recent polls show me just a few points out of third place in New Hampshire. The Democracy for America poll of Internet activists of a week or so ago, I came out first in the largest poll in the country of Internet activists. So look I know I’m a long shot. But you know what? So are most American people. It’s a long shot for people that they’re gonna have their retirement security; a long shot that they’ll have a good paying job; a long shot that they’ll have healthcare and won’t go broke paying the doctor bills; a long shot their kids will go to college. I mean American people understand long shots. Imagine a long shot who becomes your president and relates to you. I mean that’s why these polls can change, and I just have to move up little, by little, by little.
Recorded on: 10/19/07