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Friday, January 25, 2008

The New York Times Politics Blog- The Caucus

January 25, 2008, 4:13 pm
Ending Presidential Run, Kucinich Looks Ahead

By Michael Falcone
Ending Presidential Run, Kucinich Looks Ahead Dennis J. Kucinich officially ended his presidential campaign Friday. (Photo: Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

At a news conference on Friday, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich officially ended one campaign — his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination — and quickly turned his attention to two others.

Mr. Kucinich told supporters who gathered at a union hall in Cleveland that he was directing his energies toward keeping his Congressional seat in the 10th District of Ohio and announced that he was founding a national group called Integrity Now that he said would focus on many of the issues that were central to his presidential run.

“We are transitioning the presidential campaign to a movement based on integrity and based on practical ways in which we can affect policies on a local and national level,” Mr. Kucinich said. “I am intent on saving our nation from the destruction of our economic hopes and from the destruction of our Constitution.”

At the news conference Mr. Kucinich, who is serving his sixth term in Congress, referred to the tough re-election fight he was facing. Four other Democrats are running against him in the March 4 primary.

“Make no mistake about it,” he said. “The same corporate interests that I challenged on a national level are working right now to try to take this Congressional seat. They think that they can buy it.”

As for his presidential ambitions, Mr. Kucinich acknowledged that being shut out of several recent televised debates effectively ended his candidacy:

“We’re losing our nation to a war based on lies, to disruption of civil liberties and to massive debt. I tried to get these themes into the debates but I was locked out of six debates. In each and every primary state – in Iowa, in New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and California, the American people were denied an opportunity to know that there’s a way out of Iraq, there are plans to restore our economy, there’s a practical health care plan that means the end of premiums, co-pays and deductibles.”

Mr. Kucinich fought the television networks that excluded him, even taking his complaint against MSNBC, which left him out of a debate in Las Vegas on Jan. 15, to the Nevada Supreme Court. In the end the court ruled against him.

Though Mr. Kucinich was denied a space on the debate stage, he did not leave Las Vegas empty-handed.

“For the first time ever I just threw a couple bucks in a slot machine and pushed the button and I won $60,” Mr. Kucinich said. “So I left Las Vegas a winner. You may think that’s not a big deal, but I just want you to know that I left this campaign a winner.”

My feeling about this news is: sadness

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