Posted by Brad @ 9:40 pm on November 28th 2007

Ron Paul Co-Option Watch

Here’s a strange edition. VP watch?

“I’m thinking about Ron Paul” as a running mate, Kucinich told a crowd of about 70 supporters at a house party here, one of numerous stops throughout New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend. A Kucinich-Paul administration could bring people together “to balance the energies in this country,” Kucinich said.

The first instance of the Kucinich-Paul thing I thought was just an honest answer from an honest guy giving some props to a friend and sometimes-fellow traveler. The second was just Kucinich’s wife being Kucinich’s wife.

This one strikes me as a different animal.

Kucinich’s entire campaign is basically predicated on the idea that Democrats and Independents, anti-war types and social liberals, fed up with the mealy-mouthed frontrunners and party establishmentarians, will put Dennis on their shoulders and parade him into a place of semi-viability in the public square. Of course, that’s already being done, on the Republican side, by Ron Paul, particularly in New Hampshire where he and Kucinich may be competing for the same votes, in the Fed Up Undecideds category. Paul, as he’s doing for many campaigns (I’d include Thompson and Gravel as well), has sucked a lot of the oxygen out, and is starting to be a real threat for the home of all us political insurgents, from across the spectrum.

Dennis knows this. I don’t think it was just a flippant remark on his part. Now that it’s been (on Ron’s part, innocently) run up the flag pole, expect more of this from Kucinich. He’s actively trying to ingratiate himself with Ron Paul supporters, and to rut himself in Ron Paul cred. And he seems actually either worried that he’s losing air (and voters) to Ron Paul, or at the very least hoping to ride some Paulian coattails.

Which is pretty flattering, actually.

But still: no, Dennis. Just, no.


  1. Readers–and James in particular–should click that link. In it, Dr. Paul’s communications director rejects the prospect of a Paul-Kucinich ticket decisively, explicitly, and emphatically. For, I might add, all the right reasons.

    Comment by Rojas — 11/28/2007 @ 10:48 pm

  2. Which link? I’ll sleep better tonight if I can read the rejection with my own eyes.

    Comment by Coogan — 11/28/2007 @ 11:42 pm

  3. This one.

    It would create a stunning, if dizzying, blend of beliefs, wedding two politicians who hold different views on abortion rights, the role of government in providing health care, and the use of government in fostering — or hampering — the public’s greater good. Those are among the reasons it would never work, said a spokesman for Paul, a congressman and doctor from Texas.

    “Dr. Paul and Rep. Kucinich are friends and there is a lot of mutual respect,” Paul communications director Jesse Benton said in an e-mail when asked whether a running-mate spot on the Kucinich ticket would be attractive to Paul. “They have worked, and will continue to work, together on the ending the war and protecting civil liberties.

    “However, Ron wants to substantially cut the size and scope of the federal government. There are too many differences on issues such as taxes and spending to think a joint ticket would be possible.”

    Comment by Rojas — 11/28/2007 @ 11:45 pm

  4. I have no fear of a Paul-Kucinich ticket, never have. But this very thing is what I feared. Kucinich, like it or not has been around a while; and where has he been? In Washington. Does he take part in the Congressional perks that Ron Paul shuns? I don’t know, but I am betting he does. Kucinich is like the antichrist to Ron Paul’s messianic attempt to change the course of America. Kucinich’s views may diverge with Paul’s in some areas, but make no mistake, they depart at the same velocity at which they approached.

    I said way back here that the Kucinich connection would hurt Paul. While you might bask in the flattery of Kucinich’s Paul “kudos”, I can assure you that it was a Skean dhu handshake from an ‘old friend’.

    None of this is good for Dr. Paul. None of it, and unless he starts making a distinction between himself and Kucinich, he will be finished. He will be.

    Comment by James — 11/29/2007 @ 12:12 am

  5. “Kucinich is like the antichrist to Ron Paulís messianic attempt to change the course of America.”

    Changing the course of America is indeed a messianic task. It can only be done by getting lots of Republican votes. Kucinich rightly turns them off, myself included. Ron doesn’t have to be critical of Kucinich to make the necessary distinctions between them. Simply stating that there is no way he could share a ticket with him or anyone else running on the Democratic side would be enough.

    Comment by Coogan — 11/29/2007 @ 12:26 am

  6. James, Coogan: I think that the campaign’s statement makes pretty clear that he IS making a distinction between himself and Kucinich. And on exactly the grounds that you’d hope he would make the distinction. Do you disagree?

    If not, what more would he need to say?

    Comment by Rojas — 11/29/2007 @ 12:36 am

  7. “If not, what more would he need to say?”

    Not much really, only it’s him that needs to say it, not his communications director.

    Comment by Coogan — 11/29/2007 @ 12:52 am

  8. It’s a pretty minor thing for him to address, wouldn’t you think? Dennis Kucinich saying nice things about him to 70 people in New Hampshire isn’t exactly the sort of thing he’d need to make time to address.

    People sure have an awful lot of demands lately for what Ron Paul needs to come out and personally say, regardless of past statements, clear records, and perfectly clear campaign dispatches.

    Comment by Brad — 11/29/2007 @ 12:59 am

  9. I have to agree with Brad on this.

    Look, I agree with both Coogan and James–and disagree with Brad–in that I think that Kucinich is more Care Bear than fellow traveller, and that his wrapping himself in the Ron Paul banner diminishes the movement at every level. I wish to God that the demented little gnome has stayed away.

    But, seriously: it’s pretty clear that Ron Paul’s senior campaign staffers speak for the man himself. Does the Doc really need to step onto the stage and PERSONALLY stick a knife in an old friend’s back in order to appease people?

    Because I don’t think Dr. Paul has that kind of ruthlessness in him, frankly.

    Comment by Rojas — 11/29/2007 @ 1:26 am

  10. Does the Doc really need to step onto the stage and PERSONALLY stick a knife in an old friendís back in order to appease people?

    Well put. Obviously, the answer is no.

    Comment by daveg — 11/29/2007 @ 6:13 am

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