Dennis Kucinich is dropping out of the presidential campaign, telling Cleveland’s Plain Dealer he will formalize his announcement on Friday. It is far earlier than Kucinich dropped out in 2004.
The Ohio Congressman’s long shot campaign faced a particularly hard slog this cycle: He had anemic fundraising, scant grassroots support and an uphill battle with the mainstream media, which rarely covered his campaign and recently shut him out of televised debates. Soon he will receive a ritualistic, farewell media dis — the tasteless “Red X” that Time Magazine slashes across the face of every would-be president who drops out of the race:
A Time spokesperson defends the graphic as “a visual way of letting people know we [are] diving into primary season.” It’s also a visual reminder of what’s wrong with horse race campaign coverage.
But back to Dennis. Here’s what The Nation’s election editorial recently concluded about Kucinich’s candidacy:
In his stands on the issues, Dennis Kucinich comes closest to embodying the ideals of this magazine. He has been a forceful critic of the Bush Administration, opposing the Patriot Act and spearheading the motion to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. He is the only candidate to have voted against the Iraq War in 2003 and has voted against funding it ever since. Of all the serious candidates, only he and Governor Bill Richardson propose a full and immediate withdrawal from Iraq. And only Kucinich’s plan sets aside funds for reparations. Moreover, Kucinich has used his presidential campaigns to champion issues like cutting the military budget and abolishing nuclear weapons; universal, single-payer healthcare; campaign finance reform; same-sex marriage and an end to the death penalty and the war on drugs. A vote for him would be a principled one. But for reasons that have to do with the corrupting influence of money and media on national elections as well as with his campaign’s shortcomings–such as its failure to organize a grassroots base of donors and web activists–a democratic mass movement has not coalesced around Kucinich’s run for President.