Plain Dealer Bureau
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Early struggles shaped populist philosophies
Washington — As he travels the country to pitch his presidential campaign, Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland likes to pass out copies of a trading card showing his 1960 football team picture at Tremont’s St. John Cantius High School. He’s at the center of the photo, a full head shorter than his fellow Jayhawks, proudly sporting his No. 26 jersey.
The card describes Kucinich as a 4-foot-9, 97-pound third-string quarterback. He suffered a concussion during one game and was hazed regularly by teammates, who tossed him into a trash can and through a ceiling, according to his new autobiography, “The Courage to Survive.” A heart murmur eventually forced him to the sidelines as the team’s scorekeeper.
Many politicians would be loath to highlight that kind of episode. Not Kucinich. The word “Courage” is stamped across his football cards, and they carry an upbeat message about “learning early on to fight the odds, to win unwinnable battles, to reach goals some might think impossible.”
Running as a true Democrat who will stand up to corporations, strive for world peace and represent the little guy, he says: “Why should people vote for a Democrat, if you can’t tell the difference? People will go for the real thing every time. I’m the one who can win. I’m the candidate of the mainstream.”
h/t: Dennis 4 President
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The Courage to Survive
by Dennis Kucinich
Destined to be one of most important and talked-about books of the year, “The Courage to Survive” is must reading for anyone who wants to know where Dennis Kucinich believes America must go and how we can get there. It is a book that sets the tone for the national debate as we choose new leadership in a time of great crisis and great opportunity.