Dennis Kucinich on the Campaign Trail

Ryan sheds some light on the question almost every non-supporter asks about Kucinich, often with disdain: "Does this guy really think he can win?" To Ryan, the answer became clear on a road trip in Iowa at the very start of the campaign, on which Ryan joined Kucinich to help introduce him to local labor leaders. Ryan got a call that his mother died unexpectedly, and says Kucinich switched off politics entirely to attend to him, telling him a story about his own mother. "He told me his mother had last rites read to her seven times, and in those days you don't get the last rites read until it's really time to go." Suddenly Kucinich's persistence in the face of overwhelming odds against him made sense to Ryan, who went on to cite the unlikely local victories he and Kucinich had fought for over the years, including reopening closed hospitals and steel mills.

But even Ryan admits the odds in this race might be too much to overcome, and speculates that if Kucinich does better than expected he might be able to make a run for the Governor's seat or for Senate, but that if he does as poorly as the polls show, he will not have helped himself for any big future runs.

Wooing Arab-Americans

Dec. 1 — Rep. Kucinich enjoyed a warm welcome Saturday night as the only presidential candidate to speak to the Council on American Islamic Relations in Tysons Corner, Va. The 1,000-plus crowd gave the Congressman standing ovations for his vehement comments condemning the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, and for being the only candidate appearing in person to address the group, which has come under fire for having possible ties to terrorist groups. Said the emcee in his introduction to Kucinich's keynote speech, "General Clark sent CAIR a letter, but we see who's actually here in person to talk to you." And in a signal that Arabic may be the new Spanglish for politicians wooing the ethnic group, Kucinich started his speech with greetings in Arabic and was received with hearty applause.

But outside the ballroom the praise was more muted, with attendees echoing the same refrains often heard at Kucinich events. A CAIR member listening to Kucinich's speech told ABC News, "People like him and think he's a straight shooter, but it's the age-old dilemma … .do you vote to make a statement or do you vote to win?"

Gobble gobble? Not so much

Rep. Kucinch told ABC News he spent Thanksgiving with friends in California, who cooked for him a vegan feast of wild rice, cranberries, boiled carrots and grapes ("It was really good!" he swore), and vegetable salad, with no tofurkey in sight. From California he flew to New Hampshire to campaign Friday and then to Washington to spend the weekend.

Aspiring wives continue to campaign

Nov. 20 — While Rep. Kucinich had a quiet day off the trail voting in Washington, the PoliticsNH.com Web site was busy as ever. Perhaps the new batch of women was inspired by "The Bachelor" finale last night, but suddenly there are 80 entries now clocking in for the "Who wants to be a First Lady?" contest. Cathleen from Silver City, N.M. used the picture section to superimpose her face onto the farmer's wife on the American Gothic mock photo from the home page. PoliticsNH.com hasn't announced yet when they'll start the polling, but Web readers should be able to cast their votes within the next few weeks. Kucinich will join the lucky winner for dinner in the Granite State.

Kucinich supports gay marriage

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