Editor's note: On Oct. 26 TNH Staff Writer Abigail Crocker interviewed presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich in his Dover office, which is manned by young interns. On that date, Kucinich put in his official bid to run for president.
Democratic presidential contender Dennis Kucinich's support has consistently placed in single digit percentages in recent polls according Newsweek, CNN and Pew Research. But for the repeat-runner, who is best known for his strong anti-war stance, the attractiveness of his wife, plus admitting he saw a UFO on a national Democratic debate -- his support popularity is increasing. According to the UNH Survey Center, Dennis Kucinich's polled support tripled as of this year from one percent to three percent.
Due to features on hit media outlets including comedic programs such as the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, Kucinich has been in the media limelight. Last Monday night, 30-year-old Elizabeth Kucinich was featured on the Daily Show's Jason Jones special segment.
Little known to the public, Elizabeth Kucinich has been a political activist from a young age, advocating for social change. However, that aspect of her personality wasn't highlighted in the program. The segment was titled: Is the country ready for a FLILF in the White House. FLILF is an acronym that stands for "first lady I'd like to f***;" similar to the more common term referring to attractive mothers.
In the interview, joke reporter Jones struggled to gain his composure while in the presence of Elizabeth Kucinich's long red hair and polite smile. He asked the statuesque Kucinich to please tell him about her husband's health plan while the camera faded out on Jones' entranced face. Kucinich, the pro-peace, vegan candidate, was also featured on the Colbert Report later that week to explain his platform in a more serious manner.
While Kucinich has a reputation of being a more fundamental leftist than most of his Democratic peers, Congressman Kucinich classifies himself as a "Democrat's Democrat." He carries with him a miniature version of the U. S. Constitution in which he has underlined with red pen key phrases.
"I'm an independent running inside of a Democratic party," said Kucinich "I'm a Democrat and I stand for all things assumed of a Democrat."
Kucinich is best known for his adamant opposition to the war in Iraq --from the very start. In 2002, Kucinich presented an analysis of joint resolution on Iraq. This outlined foreign policy points which stressed why U. S. occupation in Iraq would be a negative move for the country to make morally in addition to financially. Today he holds firm to this view more than ever.
"The Iraqis were cheated by crooked contractors. We have to rebuild Iraq and get jobs. One million civilians lost their lives. It's a moral problem. We're going to look back and see a moral breakdown which is so powerful and undermining," Kucinich said.
If elected president, Kucinich promised to remove all occupation of Iraq within three months of taking office without leaving a vacuum in the country. He plans to eventually implement peace negotiators between the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. But according to Kucinich, if elected, he wouldn't have any U.S. influence in Iraq until the U.S. was invited back. The U.S. Embassy would be temporarily removed because if left, it would be a reminder and signifier of occupation, said Kucinich. He insists that the country needs a "healer" to undo what the Bush Administration has created.
"The Bush Administration has dishonored out flag and based his foreign policy based on lies," Kucinich said.
Emphasizing the political differences in his platform when compared to other Democrats, Kucinich likens candidates such as Clinton and Edwards to Republicans who voted for he Iraq war while in Congress.
"The people have a real choice. Clinton was in favor of the war. Who's to say she'll be different than Giuliani or Romney," Kucinich said.
While the mayor of Cleveland, Kucinich said he built his reputation on non-wavering decisions. Instead of selling his city's municipal department to the banks, Kucinich decided against it, putting the city into debt, but also saving the city millions of dollars in the long run.
"The president can't be pushed by the passions of the moment," Kucinich said.
Kucinich also advocates for a universal Medicaid program, which would be financially supported by 15 percent of the "bloated" Pentagon budget, plus the elimination of privatized and inflated drug costs.
"With the government negotiating for rock bottom prices, it saving people money in the form of reduced costs," Kucinich said.
Kucinich voted against the Patriot Act and would abolish it as well as break up media monopolies which are strongly tied to corporations.
"Whoever owns the media controls the message. There's a reason why you won't see me on Meet the Press," Kucinich said.
Kucinich has been described an unelectable, partially due to his average build and moderately radical political positions. However, some students feel as though Kucinich has principals which would make a good president.
"I've heard that a lot of people don't vote for him because he's not presidential and therefore not able to be elected, but that he makes the most sense out of anyone up there on the podium and has the best policies," said Will Treacy, a UNH student.
Kucinich intern Asher Platts believes that his candidate's positions aren't radical at all when compared to presidents of the past.
"Kucinich is more conservative than Nixon," Platts said.
Kucinich said he is looking to the college demograph to make a positive change in the world.
"I urge UNH students to help change history by engaging this campus in a powerful movement. This can be a movement of peace and education," Kucinich said.
© 2007 The New Hampshire via U-WIRE