Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich said he became good friends with Senator John Kerry when both ran for president two years ago, but he says that if Kerry would have listened to his ideas about Iraq he could be president today.
“I made it clear how I thought Democrats could win,” Kucinich said in an interview with the Globe. “Senator Kerry had another way of looking at it. I like John Kerry, and he would have been a far better president than George Bush will ever be. But I do wish he listened to me because everything I said back then was right today.”
As Kucinich launches a second bid for the White House he said his campaign would be against the Democratic establishment as much as against Republican policies. Kucinich describes the national campaign waged by the Democratic Party in 2004 as "fearful" and too easily "pushed around by political forces into positions.” He says he wants to change that.
“The American people have a hunger for genuine principled leadership,” Kucinich said. “They are looking for someone to stand up and tell the truth and not say what a pollster or consultant said to say.”
Kucinich’s chances to become the Democratic nominee this time are about as long shot as they were in 2004. But Kucinich has a national base of activists, and there is may be a place for a candidate to emerge from the left, particularly among Democrats who supported Howard Dean’s bid for the Democratic nomination last time around and who helped the party win in the recent mid-term elections.
Speaking from London where he is spending the holidays, Kucinich pointed out that he is the only Democrat in the race who voted against the war in Iraq.
Illinois Senator Barak Obama, of course, gave speeches against the war before the war started, but he was just in the Illinois legislature at the time and didn’t have a vote on the issue.
“It is not a matter for giving a couple of speeches I have. I am opposed to war as an instrument of power,” Kucinich said. “If you are against the war, either from the beginning or now, then you have to vote to cut the funding that prolongs the war, and I haven’t seen any other Democrat do that besides me.”