When he ran for president, he was ridiculed and dismissed. It turns out he was the future of American politics.
Talk show host Larry King was peering down a long table in an auditorium at the University of Southern California. It was February 2004, and the candidates contending for the Democratic presidential nomination had assembled for a debate. At the far end, ﬁxed in King’s gaze, was Dennis Kucinich, then a member of Congress from Cleveland.
Filling the remaining seats were then-Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Already, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, then-Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri and then-Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, among others, had dropped out of the race. King wanted to know when Kucinich would make his exit as well. “Logically, it appears like you’re up against it,” he said. “Why stay in?”
“I’m the voice for getting out of Iraq,” Kucinich recited earnestly. “For universal single-payer health care. For getting out of NAFTA and the WTO. For having our children go to college tuition-free.”