CLEVELAND (TDB) -- U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is steamed that John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton were caught whispering after the NAACP candidates' forum in Detroit that some hopeless hopefuls needed to be cut from future debates. Edwards mouthed into Clinton's ear that the Dems needed a "smaller group" and Clinton whispered back, "We've got to cut the number."
A news video of their post-debate encounter (sorry about the short commercial before the good part begins) seems to show Clinton remarked that some of the candidates turned things trivial. Kucinich now is calling the two "imperial" and took their comments as a conspiracy, finding in them "an attempt to rig the primary election." He's firing off a press release making that claim today, although it apparently has yet to be posted on his presidential campaign website.
"If they want to exclude me and other candidates from the process, why not have the courage to say so publicly instead of whispering it in a way that smacks of collusion, conspiracy and subterfuge."
The Cleveland congressman is also sending letters proposing one-one-one debates with Edwards and Sen. Clinton. He said there should not be time limits topics. "If you are truly seeking debates where they are fewer participants and where there is more meaningful and serious discourse, this is a great opportunity for us to join together in an open discussion on behalf of the American people."
Another way to look at it: Clinton and Edwards might actually get words in edgewise if Kucinich weren't around. Nobody who counts thinks he's a serious contender, they tend to see him as a tireless self-promoter, like the guy who claimed he invented the airplane before the Wright brothers.