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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[…]

Sleeping in cars teaches you a thing or two about compassion, Dennis Kucinich says.

Question: Who are you?

Dennis Kucinich: I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio the oldest of seven children, and my parents never owned a home. We were renters. By the time I was 17, we lived in 21 different places, including a couple of cars. That experience of growing up in the inner city, which I’ve outlined in a book that I’ve just released called “The Courage to Survive” is an experience that really had an indelible imprint upon the way I look at the world and upon my soul. Because it . . . it taught me compassion. What people go through to just try to make it day-to-day – the importance of a job, of healthcare, of being able to put food on the table and clothes on kids’ backs, the importance of education – these are all things that are a part of people’s practical aspirations. And having been riveted in that experience growing up in Cleveland, I understand as someone aspiring to be President of the United States how terribly important all these things are for . . . for people. So I’m . . . My worldview is truly shaped by that experience in growing up. Now I know the whole world didn’t live in conditions that were near poverty. I know that. But I also know that those who do don’t have many spokespersons in government.

Recorded on: 10/19/07