Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Democrat Kucinich Launches Second White House Run
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2004, launched another long-shot White House run on Tuesday with a call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Kucinich, one of the most liberal members of Congress and an outspoken war critic, attacked Democratic leaders for supporting funding for the war even after they won control of Congress last month on a wave of anti-war voter sentiment.

"You cannot support funding for the war and claim you are against the war. It's not credible," Kucinich said during a formal announcement of his 2008 presidential candidacy at Cleveland's City Hall. "We must end this march of folly," Kucinich added. "I will do everything I can to end this war and get these kids home as soon as possible." Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor elected last month to a sixth term in Congress, has consistently voted against funding the Iraq war and led anti-war efforts in Congress.

He once proposed a Cabinet-level Department of Peace and joined five other House Democrats in filing an unsuccessful lawsuit trying to block President George W. Bush from invading Iraq without a formal declaration of war. "Everything I said then has proven to be true," Kucinich said. He said he decided to run for president last week after Democratic leaders in Congress indicated they would support a funding bill for the war next year. "I am not going to stand by and watch thousands more of our brave young men and women killed in Iraq," he said.

Kucinich won fewer than 70 Democratic delegates and no primaries during the 2004 campaign, when he also emphasized his anti-war stance. He stayed in the race long after Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry clinched the nomination and other candidates dropped out. Kucinich is the second Democrat to formally enter the 2008 race along with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana has formed an exploratory committee, and several other Democrats led by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois will announce their plans early next year.

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California also has jumped in the 2008 race. Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Sam Brownback of Kansas, along with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, have formed exploratory committees. Kucinich said this campaign would be different from 2004, in part because public opposition to the war is broader now. "I fully expect to win," he said. Kucinich, who raised $13 million for his 2004 campaign, has started a Web site and said he expected much of his money to come from small donors on the Internet. "I don't think I'm going to have any trouble raising the money I need," he said.

[DUCHESS NOTE – Not just once, but three times has the legislation for a Dept of Peace been introduced into Congress. In 2005 it was introduced into the Senate. Support around the country is growing for this amazing, worthy legislation. To learn more, go to www.thepeacealliance.org I’ll definitely be volunteering on DJKs 2008 presidential campaign, just like I did back in 2003/2004. Rock the House DJK!]

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