In humble attempt at casting this in the tradition of Socrates, a (slightly altered) quote:

"The unexamined vote is not worth casting."

Monday, January 7, 2008

Who IS Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich?

For all those who are not sure who Congressman Kucinich is, I felt it appropriate to do a quick piece on him, particularly since he was, it is increasingly clear, wrongfully excluded from the final New Hampshire Democratic debate. It's funny to me how incredibly easy it is to give a helpful picture of who someone is via the internet, with the plethora of videos available online. So I'll simply place some videos below that come to mind as especially representative of Kucinich in a few areas. Most of them are just a few minutes long, but I note the ones that are a bit longer.

As a brief primer though, he is a six term Congressman from Ohio , he was a state representative for years, as well as the mayor of Cleveland. You can read a concise overview on his website bio, as well as on Amazon, where it describes his most recent book about the challenges of growing up in a family of seven, going around through 21 different homes in his first 17 years, watching his parents count pennies to pay rent, etc. I am actually reading it now, and it's a fun read with his wit and detail, but was clearly a tough childhood that wrought some important qualities of service, hard work, and so forth in him. His positions are organized into a few easy-to-navigate categories here on his regular site, and here for short videos of him, organized by the issue that each focuses on.

In terms of the videos I'll list here, I've broke them into a few sections to make it easier for readers to find what they may be particularly interested in:

1. Overview videos
Debate clips
3. Health care videos
4. Social justice-related videos
5. Impeachment teach-in video with the Nation magazine
6. Endorsements
7. Clips of his wife, Elizabeth, speaking
8. Question and Answer/Other

1. Overview videos

Who is Dennis Kucinich video (about six minutes)

Bill Moyers Journal interview on Jan. 4, 2008 (about 15 minutes)

2. Debate clips

On the need to stand by one's voting record, along with an important highlight of how many of the other Democratic candidates have voted on various issues

On "Making abortions less necessary and protecting a woman's right to choose"

Brown and Black Forum, 12/1/07 (brief clip)

CNN debate, 11/15/07 (his responses only, about 9 minutes)

AFL-CIO debate, 8/7/07 (his responses only, about 7 minutes)

On the link between war and poverty, 6/28/07, PBS Tavis Smiley Debate

3. Health care video

Available here (just under an hour of in-depth questioning of Rep. Kucinich about the details of his plan with NPR, Wall Street Journal, ABC and PBS reporters):

4. Social justice-related videos

At the Heartland Presidential Forum Dec. 1st in Des Moines, Iowa (lasts about 15-20 minutes with parts 1, 2 and 3). From the Forum's site: "Representative Dennis Kucinich answers questions from grassroots community leaders about comprehensive immigration reform, worker rights, environmental protection, and campaign finance reform."

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

. Impeachment-related videos (Congressman Kucinich brought a resolution to impeach Vice Pres. Cheney in April 2007)

CNN interview of Kucinich the day after filing

Impeachment teach-in video with the Nation magazine (around 10 minutes)

6. Endorsements

Sean Penn

Viggo Mortensen of Lord of the Rings

7. Clips of his wife, Elizabeth, speaking

Campaigning in New Hampshire

On Politics and Religion

8. Question and Answer/Other

Q&A period in Charlottesville, VA, 12/7 (around 20 minutes)

On Fox's Hannity and Colmes, 12/6/07

Ron Paul talking about Kucinich

On the House floor in 2006 calling for an end to the war

A lot of these I listed and various other videos of his can be found on his YouTube site, his website's video section, and here, where a number of Constitution-related videos can be found.

Update: Here is a great article/in-depth interview with Kucinich, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer Jan. 4th, 2008.

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