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Thursday, June 26, 2003

Kucinich in Person
I got to see Dennis Kucinich in person at the University of Michigan Student Union last fall, and that is one of the main reasons I am so sold on him. Here's what I wrote last October:

Dennis Kucinich! I went down to campus this afternoon to hear Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) talk about peace and global justice. He spoke for about 30 minutes without any script or notes, and then answered questions eloquently for another 45 minutes. (Try that, W, I dare ya!) Someone asked him whether he would leave the Democratic party, given the wholesale sellout of leaders like Daschle, Gephardt and Lieberman. He responded that Gephardt "led" by ignoring the members of the House Democrats, 2/3 who voted against the war resolution. He said for now he says he is a Democrat, but sees his role as a missionary. Anyhow, if you get a chance to hear Kucinich speak sometime, don't pass it up. Hopefully, I shook the hand of our next president today.

Two people from our Kucinich-Michigan Yahoo! group have posted reports on seeing Dennis in person:

Since many volunteers have not had the opportunity to see Dennis Kucinich in person, the new state director, Bob Anderson, asked me to post my impressions of the Fund Raiser and Rally held in Elgin last Saturday night.

Elgin is about as close for me as Detroit, so I went over to have a look at what they were doing and to see what the "big dog" was like. Wow! I found him very different than the Dennis Kucinich seen on television. His finer qualities somehow allude the cameras.

He was late, but there was music and a number of speakers kept us occupied until he finally blew in. He crossed the stage, jacket open, tie flapping, took up the microphone and talked for two hours without referring to a note. He didn't avoid anything, speaking about security and what he would do about the present cri! sis in Iraq. He moved casually around the stage, spoke confidently, with ease. He was way past the self-importance issue we see coming up in some other of the candidates.

After his speech he perched at the top of the stairs leading to the stage, told stories and answered audience questions. A different side--lighter, humorous, chatty--came out. Nonetheless he seemed dedicated to finding the truth, seeking out root causes, clarifying issues, while well aware of any trickiness, or dishonesty. These various stories convinced you that this man was, indeed, experienced, ready and would stay on track--that this man would be a good president!

At the end he moved out into the audience, shook hands, took questions and worked his way down the center aisle. Then, just before the door, he turned around and spread out his arms as the crowd got up to leave.

So much warmth was there, as though he wanted to touch each person, to honor each person. You really couldn't get past him without shaking his hand. He seemed to know where everyone was standing, yet he wasn't bobbing his head, while looking over your shoulder. He took your hand, shook it, holding it just a little longer than you expected. He thanked you--more than once--as though he was truly grateful for your being there. His desire to serve and make government serve you was so evident, you left knowing that if he were elected he would keep faith with the people.

I would encourage anyone volunteering for the Kucinich campaign to make a point of meeting him, asap, as it will clarify your purpose.


And this one:

I want to reinforce what Carol said about Dennis' charisma and genuine sincerity. I first met Dennis at the Cranbrook Peace Foundation Dinner last winter. He was at a table with Bishop Gumbleton and Marianne Williamson, both of whom I had met in regards to my daughter, Alicia. Alicia was killed onboard United Flight 175 on September 11. Dennis took us aside and with heartfelt compassion reached out to us amidst the hustle and bustle of the moment. Prior to his powerful, insightful and sincere talk about peace, politics, our government and life, he announced that he was dedicating his talk to Alicia. My wife, Bev and I were so moved with his depth, his sincerity, his wisdom and his compassion. But, the real act of compassion came at the end of his talk when he came down off the stage, walked to the middle aisles where Bev and I were, and gave each of us a genuine hug. This man is for real and heads above any of the other candidates. He is what our country needs for healing, for growth, for hope, for our future.

Yours in Peace,
John Titus
Dexter, Mi