Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Obama should be pulling for Dennis Kucinich to run in the primaries

Roger Simon thinks that Obama's left wing could cause him some tough moments in the primaries. But the best he can come up with is Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich might think that a run against Obama in the primaries is just the sort of hopeless crusade what Kucinich might relish. But I don't think that would be a problem for Obama. Obama could then pose as a moderate with wacky Dennis as his left-wing foil. The entry of Kucinich into the primaries would be a welcome addition for Obama. The Republican primaries will be a festival of right-wing attacks on the President. If Obama didn't have any competition in the primaries, his voice would be muted. Remember the 2004 primaries with Democratic debate after debate and speech after speech blasting Bush. Those attacks become the background music for political news in that period. And the president, even one as much loved by the media as Obama, has trouble getting traction in answering those attacks. But if he had to appear in some debates opposite Kucinich, he would appear as a giant next to a Lilliputian.

Kucinich can't win, but he can help Obama take that pose he so loves, with chin stuck in the air as he pretends to be a centrist. He can say that he's getting attacked from both sides so he must be doing something right. It will give him an excuse to run ads touting the promise of his essence rather like his campaign announcement with people talking about how they are excited about his campaign, but not able to mention anything that he has done to deserve reelection. Much better to contrast himself to Kucinich and squabbling Republicans than to run on an actual record.