Dennis Kucinich Gets Some of His Own Medicine on Debate Hypocrisy

Congressman Dennis Kucinich has been throwing a hissy fit lately over a plot by the major Democratic candidates to exclude the lesser-knowns and vanity aspirants (that would be Denny) from debates. What Kucinich fans around the country (all four of them) don't know is that the Creepy Elf routinely employs the same tactic back home. Here in Cleveland, Denny has become almost famous for his unimaginative ways of bailing on debates. Sometimes he just doesn't show. Sometimes he calls at the final hour with scheduling conflicts. And sometimes his opponents, fed up with Kucinich hiding from his constituents, take the debate directly to Denny, whether he wants it or not ["Congressman Candy Ass," April 19, 2006]. Now Rosemary Palmer, Kucinich's latest opponent in the West Side congressional district, is delivering Denny some of his own medicine. She's challenged Kucinich to a series of five debates. The congressman will have to dig deep into his bag of excuses to figure out how to avoid more accusations of hypocrisy on this one. An excerpt from Palmer's press release today:
Rosemary Palmer, candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District of Ohio, today issued a challenge to her opponent, six-term incumbent Dennis Kucinich. At a press conference held this morning in downtown Cleveland, Ms. Palmer challenged Mr. Kucinich to a series of five debates. Palmer proposed to focus each debate on a particular issue area including economic development and foreign policy. “I have formally submitted this challenge to Mr. Kucinich’s office. I eagerly await his response, and frankly expect him, as a democratically elected official, to accept the challenge and appreciate the opportunity to address the people he claims to represent,” Palmer said. Palmer criticized Congressman Kucinich for being largely absent while his district continues to endure troubling economic and social difficulty. She cited the incumbent Congressman’s recent trip to Disney World that coincided with the release of a US Census Bureau report which once again ranked the City of Cleveland as among the poorest cities in America. “While he goes to Disney World and wishes upon a star to be president, the needs of his district go unattended. The poverty report is just one example,” Palmer said. Kucinich, no stranger to debate challenges, has issued a number of statements lamenting his exclusion from the limelight of the presidential campaign. Following reports that his presidential primary opponents were conspiring to limit his exposure at debate appearances, Mr. Kucinich was quoted as saying “Imperial candidates are as repugnant to the American people and to our democracy as an imperial president.” In light of her newly issued challenge, Palmer countered, “Now that this challenge has been issued, we shall soon know if we have an imperial and repugnant Congressman."
-- Pete Kotz

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