Monday, July 23, 2007

Kucinich's Primary Challenger: Rosemary Palmer

Dennis Kucinich may not be running what anyone would call a real campaign in his latest run at the Democratic Presidential Primary, but he may need to run a real campaign next year to keep his Congressional seat. He certainly has a real challenger.

Rosemary Palmer has credibility as a candidate of the anti-war left. She runs as a political outsider who tragically lost her son in Iraq. Her platform could be called pragmatic progressivism. In other words, she's more interested in a compromise that makes things better than taking all-or-nothing stand that maintains the status quo.

OK, she certainly has my attention.

Now she's assembled a team of campaign veterans, including BlueOhioan founder Anthony Fossaceca as campaign manager. She also has hired Michael Chaney as finance director and Michael Gillis on communications. Anthony has been emailing bloggers about the race for a couple of weeks now. One of the hoped-for lessons of the '06 campaign is that it's OK to be an outsider if you hire people who really know how to do politics and listen to them. And by the way, Ms. Palmer is currently a student at the Bliss Institute.

A primary campaign poses a number of challenges for Kucinich. While he's currently content to hang with fellow travelers in New Hampshire, Ms. Palmer is campaigning here and has a message that will resonate with those Democrats in the district who vote for Kucinich only because he's the D on the ballot.

And this is a primary campaign so Kucinich can't just wait around for his inevitably national loss and campaign the following fall. He has to

Then there is the matter of debates. As Ben aptly pointed out Kucinich took his hurt puppy act to the cable shows when Hillary and Edwards were overheard supposedly trying to shut him out of debates, but he refused to debate his opponent in '06. After the fuss he just raised, he will be hard pressed to refuse to debate this cycle.

I have no idea if support for Kucinich in his district is soft enough to Palmer to have a shot. But in any event, it's nice to know that from here on when he pulls crap like this, he may suffer actual political consequences.