Kucinich Says He's Seriously Considering Ron Paul for VP, But What Does Ron Think?
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This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report
Dennis Kucinich is generally not taken seriously as a credible presidential candidate, and is generally invited to participate in presidential debates because organizers can't think of a rationale to block a sitting member of Congress. A lot of observers are under the impression that Kucinich is running just to run -- a presidential campaign, even a quixotic one, offers people a fairly high-profile platform to talk about issues they find important.
But if Kucinich wants to shed his gadfly reputation, he should probably avoid pronouncements like this one.
Call it the liberal-libertarian ticket, where left meets right and Democrat Dennis Kucinich picks Republican Ron Paul to be his vice president.
Kucinich, the Cleveland congressman running in a longshot bid to become president, suggested it himself Sunday.
"I'm thinking about Ron Paul" as a running mate, Kucinich told a crowd of about 70 supporters at a house party here, one of numerous stops throughout New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend. A Kucinich-Paul administration could bring people together "to balance the energies in this country," Kucinich said.
I suppose I know what Kucinich means, but serious presidential hopefuls generally don't consider running mates with whom they disagree on almost everything , including fundamental beliefs about the size, scope, and power of the government.
And as it turns out, Ron Paul wouldn't even consider it.
"Dr. Paul and Rep. Kucinich are friends and there is a lot of mutual respect," Paul communications director Jesse Benton said in an e-mail when asked whether a running-mate spot on the Kucinich ticket would be attractive to Paul. "They have worked, and will continue to work, together on ending the war and protecting civil liberties.
"However, Ron wants to substantially cut the size and scope of the federal government. There are too many differences on issues such as taxes and spending to think a joint ticket would be possible."
Granted, Paul and Kucinich appear to largely agree on national security matters, including the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. But then, there's everything else.
Steve Benen is a freelance writer/researcher and creator of The Carpetbagger Report. In addition, he is the lead editor of Salon.com's Blog Report, and has been a contributor to Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Crooks & Liars, The American Prospect, and the Guardian.