Another long-shot presidential candidate dropped out of the race on Thursday (January 24), when Dennis Kucinich announced that he was abandoning his bid for the White House. The Democratic congressman from Ohio finished last or next to last in most of the early primaries and caucuses.
In an interview with The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kucinich said he would make his official announcement Friday.
“I want to continue to serve in Congress,” he told the newspaper. Kucinich added that he would not endorse another Democrat in the nomination cycle, even though he had told his Iowa supporters to make Senator Barack Obama their second choice in the state’s caucus earlier this month.
Kucinich becomes the second candidate to abandon the race this week, just days after “Law & Order” actor and former Senator Fred Thompson gave up on his bid after a string of disappointing finishes in early primary races.
Kucinich finished third in Michigan, behind “uncommitted,” in a race that was voided because the Democratic National Committee decided to strip the state of its delegates for pushing up its primary date. He finished fifth in the New Hampshire primary with 1 percent of the vote, fifth in the Nevada caucus with 0 percent of the vote and eighth in Iowa with 0 percent of the vote. He won a grand total of one delegate during his run.
Among the major party candidates, former Cleveland Mayor Kucinich’s candidacy was among the most liberal-leaning, with a platform that called for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq, the repeal of the USA Patriot Act, and the withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Agreement. His positions have also included the legalization of same-sex marriage and medicinal marijuana, the abolition of the death penalty and the creation of a cabinet-level “Department of Peace.”
Though his campaign never really caught fire and he was left out of recent Democratic debates because he didn’t meet the thresholds of support to participate, Kucinich did manage to get a bit of press in October when he confirmed during a Democratic debate that he believes he once saw a UFO. His candidacy gained some support from an interesting variety of actors, musicians and media figures, including Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, Woody Harrelson, Sean Penn, Melissa Etheridge, Edward Norton and Viggo Mortensen.