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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/29/15

Robert Scheer Hosts Dennis Kucinich -- an Unpredictable American Original

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Reprinted from Truthdig

Former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
(Image by (Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0))
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Read the transcript below.

In the third episode of "Scheer Intelligence," Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer's new KCRW podcast, eight-term Ohio congressman and two-time Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich raps about the underbelly of U.S. politics going back to his days as Cleveland's "boy mayor" in the late 1970s.

Scheer and Kucinich recount how their early interview in Playboy magazine -- which both admit may have cost Kucinich a mayoral re-election -- led to a long friendship. In an illustration of how strange the political realm can be, Kucinich tells how former Republican Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Ohioan, tried unsuccessfully to aid him when Ohio Democrats "working on behalf of certain interests" redrew the lines of his district to ensure his congressional defeat in 2012.

As a veteran of the struggle against the corporate and political machine, Kucinich asks whether today's "oligarchs who run our politics will simply claim ownership of everything and have it privatized." On a lighter note, he talks about the effect his friends Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson have had on his life, and hints with some vigor that he is not ready to step off the stage of electoral politics. As he puts it, "Stay tuned."

Robert Scheer: Hello. I'm Bob Scheer, and welcome to Scheer Intelligence, the KCRW podcast that I'm using as the chance to talk to American originals, that cast of characters that the American culture, with its immigrants, with its former slaves and everyone else, has thrown up that are unique to the American experience. Today my guest is one such original, Dennis Kucinich, a former U.S. congressman from Ohio. He served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat for 15 years; he also ran for president in 2004 and 2008. Dennis was also mayor of Cleveland in the 1970s, when I first met him as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, interviewed him when he was in a stormy race there. Dennis is a contributor at Fox News and, full disclosure, he is a contributor to Truthdig.com, the website that I cofounded, and he and I have been friends for quite a few years.

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