Certainly, the political world is fickle – but sometimes it is surprisingly so. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), known for his two-time presidential bids, his antiwar opinions and his popularity within the Democratic party, may be bidding adieu to his political career. And it’s not by choice.
The new Republican-drawn congressional map led him to lose his primary Tuesday. With the focus so strongly on the GOP presidential race, Kucinich experienced a dramatically low-turnout race against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). Kaptur led two to one against Kucinich.
Saying Goodbye to Colorful Politicians
His defeat is one example of the many colorful personalities who appear to be leaving politics. And that is certainly a shame. In addition to Kucinich’s surprising loss, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) have both announced their retirement plans.
As Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) said,
“The one thing that’s being tamped down here is, we’re losing characters. When I got here, you had Jim Traficant, you had Barney, and then Dennis came. The place needs character, and characters.”
Kaptur's Attack Plan
Kaptur painted him, in this recent race, as a political figure who is more interested in his fights against power than he is in actually delivering for the people of the district. She cleverly compared him, and his thoughts of leaving Cleveland, to the Browns football team and to NBA superstar LeBron James. The analogies were intended to hit the people where it hurts – and with blows that they felt very deeply. As she said in a radio ad, “Looks like next in line to abandon us is Dennis Kucinich.”
Kucinish hasn’t made his intentions clear. He’s spoken of moving to Washington State and running in a Democratic-leaning district there. Time will tell what happens for him – but it’s certainly been a shock to lose his current bid.
He has re-invented himself many times before, even becoming a hero to the elite liberals in Hollywood like Sean Penn and Danny Glover. Perhaps he will finally create his Department of Peace, team up with supporter Larry Flynt or find another creative outlet for his political drive and energy.