In a cavernous Columbus Convention Center conference room, party founder John Hagelin and others lauded Kucinich for being "the leading light of natural law in politics at this time." An outsider trying to determine what exactly Natural Law members stand for would have been hard-pressed to understand Hagelin, a quantum physicist who likes to draw parallels between scientific principles and politics, but the gist lies in Hagelin's belief in "holistic unity," the idea that we are all one, that all conflicts can be solved in non-violent ways, and that "we can quell violence and terrorism through fields of meditation."
Sharpton: Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press notes that Lieberman and Kerry — along with Dean — have had some inconsistent views on affirmative action. LINK
From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:
Reverend Sharpton's fighting spirit is refreshed — courtesy of Howard Dean, whose recent comment on "guys with Confederate flags on their pick-up trucks" provided the weekend's biggest excitement.
Sharpton told ABC News that "it is unthinkable to me that one would in any way give license to acceptance of people that have a Confederate flag. If I were to say that I want to be the candidate for those that wear a helmet and swastika, people would ask me to leave the race and they'd be right. I took Mr. Dean at his word — that he represented the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, not the Dixiecratic wing."
The remainder of the weekend was a bit of a South Carolinian respite, except for a chartered flight to Washington (total cost: $6300) for the Kennedys/King Dinner, where Sharpton was the only candidate to show up and talk to a relatively tough crowd for a total of 20 minutes — focusing almost entirely on D.C. statehood.
Moseley Braun: From ABC News' Moseley Braun campaign reporter Monica Ackerman:
Eleven years ago today, Carol Moseley Braun became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate. But, it has been over a week since the debate in Detroit, and since then Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun has not campaigned publicly once. She gave a paid speech in Dayton, Ohio Thursday. The speech, however, was not campaign related. Tomorrow she'll speak at the University of New Hampshire's "Every Child Matters" forum. This will be the first time since I started covering the Ambassador that she has visited the key state of New Hampshire.
Over the weekend Moseley Braun, who memorably spoke from the Senate floor on the Confederate flag back in 1993, gave a statement in response to Dean's flag comment. Moseley Braun said, "The Confederate flag is a symbol of division in our country. Our challenge is to unite Americans, not pour fuel on the flames of racial acrimony. It is unfortunate that Dr. Dean would choose words that resonate so negatively in our national debate. I call upon all the Democratic candidates to embrace racial harmony and to rally around our American flag that brings us all together."
Iowa: Michael Kilen of the Des Moines Register reports that cafes in Iowa "have a special this time of year: A presidential candidate, served with a firm handshake and unlimited trips to the promises buffet." LINK
South Carolina: According to a new American Research Group poll released Friday, The General has "taken the lead" in the Palmetto State, "bumping John Edwards from the top spot." LINK