What happened
Dennis Kucinich has signaled that he will quit the Democratic presidential race. A long-shot, left-leaning candidate running for the Democratic nomination for a second time, Kucinich faces a strong Democratic primary challenge for his Cleveland-area congressional seat. His main challenger, Joe Cimperman, has been attacking Kucinich for being a “part-time congressman” who is neglecting his district to run for president. (Politico)
What the commentators said
I say “good riddance,” said Jason Zengerle in The New Republic’s The Plank blog. I had sort of assumed Kucinich’s “ego trip” of a campaign would drag on almost until the Democratic convention, like his 2004 run. But with the tough fight to hold on to his congressional seat brewing in Cleveland, I guess his “active fantasy life” has to play back seat to “his day job.”
Kucinich’s “sincere, issue-oriented” campaign was “more than an ego trip,” said John Nichols in The Nation. But it was doomed by a cold shoulder from the “media managers of the 2008 presidential contest,” who barred him from debates and ignored his campaign. Kucinich successfully “influenced the national debate for the better,” however, and the 2008 race “is diminished by his exit.”
Eh, “Kucinich was never a real factor in the Democratic race,” said Chris Cilizza in The Washington Post’s The Fix blog. But his “quixotic bid” did “give voice to the party’s most liberal elements,” focusing attention on the Iraq war. But now he has a war “in his own backyard.” In challenger Cimperman’s recent ad, he accuses Kucinich of missing more votes than any other congressman, and adds, “You are so fired.” Wow. The ad “is a winner.” We’ll see about Kucinich.