Hendrick admits, however, that Kucinich can't survive a poor finish in New Hampshire: "We absolutely need a surprise. We cannot come in 7th or 8th … .if you deliver a surprise you get a big injection of cash and the media start paying attention. If you don't it's much, much harder. It's harder to do than in Iowa because if you do better than expected there, people can discount it as not being a real primary, but in New Hampshire it's the real thing."
Still, Hendrick says Kucinich is "gonna stay in it 'til the last man's standing," and feels optimistic that it's early enough in the race to be able to deliver such a surprise come primary time.
Kucinich had an action-packed day in New Hampshire Wednesday, including homeless shelter visits, store tours, a town hall and an evening reception, but the event the campaign was most excited about was one where most of the attendees can't even vote: a speech at Concord High School, where Challenger astronaut Krista McAuliffe once taught.
Why spend valuable campaigning time with a group where only a handful can vote? Hendrick says, "Dennis is so enthusiastic, he probably doesn't think enough about election politics, but he's just really interested in connecting with these people." The campaign is even considering launching a "Virgin Votes for Kucinich" effort to mobilize first-time voters.
Kucinich’s 4-Day Tour Comes to an End
Oct. 17 — Kucinich wrapped up his four-day announcement sweep by participating in an activism forum at Howard University and attending a party in his honor.
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, a longtime friend and colleague who is supporting Kucinich's candidacy and co-sponsored his universal health care bill, was by the candidate's side the entire evening.
About 200 supporters, including one dressed in a George W. Bush costume carrying a sign that read "Need work in 2004 … will work for oil or other corporate interests" greeted the Congressmen at the party and a live band played John Lennon's "Imagine," the campaign's theme song.
In his introduction of Kucinich the silken-voiced Conyers, known as the "Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus," asked the rowdy audience, "This crowd is so worked up … can I run as his vice president?"
The audience jumped to their feet and cheered wildly, including Kucinich himself.