[Start passage] Stephen Hess, a George Washington University public affairs professor who has written several books on the presidency, said Kucinich's second bid will give his ideas wider exposure but will do little to improve his chances of winning.
Hess says Kucinich lacks the charisma of Obama, the political connections of Clinton or the résumé of other candidates considering a run.
"What he has got is a name that's hard to pronounce and an ideology that's pretty far to the margins of his party," Hess said.
Washington, D.C., political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg agrees, adding that Kucinich won't be able to raise as much money as other contenders and that "he has painted himself into representing a tiny corner of the Democratic Party."
"After a while, Congressman Kucinich's Don Quixote-like struggle starts to appear kind of goofy," Rothenberg said.
"Everyone deserves a shot to run for president, but I am not sure everyone deserves two shots," he said.
In an interview with Plain Dealer editors and reporters a month before the election, Kucinich said he had "no plans" for a second bid, though he refused to rule it out completely.
Republican Mike Dovilla, who was crushed by Kucinich in the Nov. 7 election, complained bitterly Monday that Kucinich misled voters.
"It's too bad that during this year's congressional campaign, Dennis Kucinich did not have the decency to be honest with the people of Ohio's 10th District," he said in a statement. "For two more years, we will have an absentee congressman as Dennis runs around the nation to indulge his insatiable ego and advance his personal, extremist agenda in another futile run for the White House." [End passage]
It is easy enough to forgive the sore loser in this instance, Mike Dovilla, for his peevish attitude. Many children never receive the help they need to get past this stage of development. About all we can do for Mike is wish him luck if he decides to run again.
But I found myself asking, who is this Stuart Rothenberg guy? Why is he holding himself up as a prophet? Why would anyone give a fart in the wind what Stuart Rothenberg has to say about Dennis Kucinich, particularly when there is not one iota of fact to support his unpleasant opinion? And for that matter, just what is a "political handicapper"?
Dictionary.com says there are no entries for the phrase "political handicapper." However, a few clicks of the mouse did bring me to "The Rothenberg Political Report," published by none other than Stuart Rothenberg-that same Mr. Rothenberg, who proclaims: 1) Kucinich has painted himself into representing a tiny corner of the Democratic Party; 2) Kucinich's Don Quixote-like struggle appears kind of goofy; and 3) everyone deserves a shot to run for president, but he is not sure everyone deserves two shots.
Check Stuart's website for yourself, and you'll learn that he offers "free political news and analysis," which, if you so desire, you can have delivered to your inbox. Reading further, you will learn that, "The Rothenberg Political Report is an independent newsletter that reports on U.S. House and Senate contests... It neither endorses candidates nor advocates positions on matters of public policy."
Thus we learn that reporters for the The Plains Dealer, and who knows how many other hodunk papers, turn to this "political handicapper" for his opinion, two years in advance regarding presidential candidates-in this case, a "political handicapper" who puts out a paper that does not endorse candidates. Evidently, it just slaps them around a few times, if Stuart doesn't like them.
Then I wonder, "Ok, why does this particular handicapper not like Dennis Kucinich?" A few more mouse clicks and I learn that Stuart has done on-the-air analysis for Voice of America, the "official international radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal government," according to Wikipedia.
The Center for Media and Democracy gives us a little more information about the Voice of America: "What's happened at the VOA -- which the longtime Karl Rove ally Tomlinson oversees as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) -- has done considerable damage to the value and credibility of international broadcasting.... VOA administrators have pressed the agency's journalists to report pro-White House spin and too often directed them to downplay hard-hitting news in favor of puffery."
Like Sean Hannity, Stuart went to a Catholic college, the Catholic University of America. He has done op-eds for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among other newspapers that are good for insulation and for wiping your ass in a pinch. But need I say more?
Moving along, I wonder about this Stephen Hess fellow, who The Plain Dealer tells us is "a George Washington University public affairs professor who has written several books on the presidency," and who is evidently another prophet, since he proclaims, "Kucinich's second bid will give his ideas wider exposure but will do little to improve his chances of winning," because, says Hess, "Kucinich lacks the charisma of Obama, the political connections of Clinton or the résumé of other candidates considering a run."
Furthermore, "What he has got is a name that's hard to pronounce and an ideology that's pretty far to the margins of his party." Well, thank you Stephen!
And just who the hell are you?
According to the Brookings Institution website, Stephen was the "Editor-in-Chief of Republican Party Platform (1976)." He is a Brookings Institute Scholar, a Senior Fellow Emeritus of Governance Studies. Of course, I'd heard of the Brookings Institute before, and somehow associated it with alleged conservative viewpoints, but I never actually looked into it. Till just now.
According to SourceWatch: "Initially centrist, the Institution took its first step rightwards during the depression, in response to the New Deal. In the 1960s, it was linked to the conservative wing of the Democratic party, backing Keynsian economics. From the mid-70s it cemented a close relationship with the Republican party. Since the 1990s it has taken steps further towards the right in parallel with the increasing influence of right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation."
So there you have it. Our lively source of information, The Plain Dealer, has gone out of its way to bring us two conservative right wingding viewpoints, with no opposing opinion, and not so much as a mention of their own Congressman's highly informative website.
I thus present an opposing opinion, that of Cindy Sheehan, who recently had breakfast with Dennis and traveled around with him a bit: [N]ot too many people know that Dennis is an inspired orator, and each time I hear him speak, I feel like searching for the nearest baptismal font or river to be baptized for something, anything." (And I guess I'll add my own opinion, namely that that's about how I felt when I heard Dennis speak at the Salt Lake City Airport, and also when I read his book, "A Prayer for America.")
As noted earlier, the article quoting Hess and Rothenberg in the Plains Dealer appeared on the Common Dreams website, the same website that gave short shrift to Dennis two years ago, and the same website that gave free rein to Molly Ivins and Arianna Huffington, when they made prophecies for Dennis not unlike those of Hess and Rothenberg.
As a general rule, I'm not one for prophecies, but I don't mind self-fulfilling prophecies when they are of a positive sort. For example, when a child tells me, "I am going to work really hard today," or, when my doctor says, "Looks like you're doing very well. Keep up those good habits and you'll have good health for a long, long time." Or when I tell myself while working on an invention, "I can see that this concept is correct; I just need to work out the details to make it happen."
But when a child tells me, "I can't do this. I'll never get it," then quits for good, or when someone tells me, "This candidate will never win"-BECAUSE they and a few others say so, and therefore give up before they START TO CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY, it is clear to me that their attitude is not PART of the problem; it IS the problem. In this sense, many so-called progressives are no different from the evangelicals who are doing their damndest to bring about "the final days." In fact, they are worse because they ought to know better and have enough backbone to stand up for their beliefs and at least TRY to make them become reality. "I'd rather vote for the candidate I like and lose, than vote for the candidate I don't like and win," said Eugene Debs.* And indeed, if WE can't create our own social conditions, just who on this little planet is going to do the job for us?
My background in education compels me to extend my sermon one bit further, even though I hate sermons. I would point out, for George Washington University Professors and any others who have trouble with phonics, that if you'll just think of what Popeye eats, then say it with a "Ku" instead of an "sp," you'll sound considerably more intelligent when speaking of this particular presidential candidate, and have no trouble pronouncing his name.
Last but not least, it is my prophecy that both these items will be very good for you, and the rest of the world as well.
*I think that's who said it, but I can't find the quote for certain.