CINCINNATI (TDB) -- U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich closed his appearance at the AFSCME Democratic presidential forum shouting a rousing campaign theme, "You need a president with no strings." And then he chanted, "No strings, no strings, no strings . . ." He stretched out his arms and did a pirouette. He invited the audience to look him over. No strings.
It was great TV on C-SPAN.
In Carson City, the Cleveland congressman was fiery, mincing few words, saying he saw through President George W. Bush from the beginning and opposed the Iraq War when senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and John Edwards did not. He said he put together a group of 125 opponents in the House and viewed all the information that the senators saw before they authorized the war. He said they now ''claim they were tricked, deceived and misled by George Bush. Here's one person who wasn't. Now think about the consequences when you are tricked, deceived, misled by George Bush." Kucinich let the word Bush roll off his tongue in such a way that it seemed anybody with half a wit could not be fooled by anybody with that name.
Kucinich was blunt about the cause of the war -- not weapons of mass destruction in his view -- but oil. "We have to stop trying to steal the oil that belongs to the people of Iraq. If Iraq had not had oil, it is highly unlikely we would be there."
None of the other candidates were anywhere near as blunt. "I was right from the beginning on this," Kucinich said, "and if people want real leadership, I'm ready." He talked about trade and healthcare for a few minutes, said he would cancel NAFTA, and then told the Carson City union crowd to look him over. "No strings."