Kucinich reacted to Monday’s endorsement of Dean by Al Gore by insisting the Democratic nomination will be won by issues, not endorsements. "I think that the issues more than the endorsements are going to be what defines this election," Kucinich told me outside a Washington, D.C., fund-raiser Monday night. "And the issue that will define this election in the primaries as well as the general election is the issue relating to the occupation of Iraq. We must end the occupation of Iraq and we must bring our troops home and we can’t do it soon enough." He also added congratulations to Dean for getting the nod. Dean, like Kucinich, has been tagged for being too far to the left to seriously contend for the White House. The endorsement of Dean by such a prominent party figure could be an indication that "Republican lite" may no longer be so en vogue among Democrats, giving left-leaning Dems like Kucinich some hope. Perhaps that explains the congressman’s gracious remarks.
Others were more predictable--they expressed surprise but dismissed it. Kerry, however, got catty: "“I respect Al Gore. I worked with him in the Senate, and I endorsed him early in his hard fought campaign for the presidency four years ago. But this election is about the future, not about the past."
Sharpton remained amusing: "I don’t want to shock you, but I was not depending on Al Gore’s endorsement to do what I’m going to do in 2004."