Rep. Kucinich (D-OH) is one of the most left-leaning members of Congress, and his campaign emphasized a policy he called “strength through peace.” Kucinich is the only Democratic presidential candidate (of those serving in Congress at the time) who voted against the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He remains one of the strongest critics of the Bush administration’s agenda and of fellow Democratic candidates who have voted to approve Iraq war-funding legislation. Kucinich has also spoken out against any move toward war with Iran, and has sought to curtail infringements on civil liberties in the war on terror.
Kucinich has spent his entire career in public office. He was elected to Cleveland’s city council at age twenty-three and elected mayor at thirty-one after a populist campaign. His term as mayor was turbulent, marked by Kucinich’s refusal to privatize the city’s public electric utility. The struggle over the utility’s sale led to the city of Cleveland’s default and Kucinich lost his reelection bid two years later.
He won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1996, which he has held since. He now sits on the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Kucinich’s presidential campaign was seen as a long shot, although his firm antiwar positions garnered him the support of disillusioned liberal Democrats and left-wing voters. He ran on a similar antiwar ticket in the 2004 presidential race and finished with low poll numbers. Kucinich was the only House Democrat running for president. He withdrew his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in January 2008.