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irregular times logoThe Irregular Candidates:
Our own slate of candidates for President in 2008


Right after the great progressive loss of 2004, mass media outlets began speculating about who the Democrats could put forward as a presidential candidate in 2008. Although not a single candidacy had been declared, and not a single primary election in the Democratic Party had taken place, commentators began to talk about who the "favorite" candidates were. Some even declared "frontrunners" in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

The truth is that there are currently no frontrunners and no favorites in the competition to become the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. The rank and file members of the Democratic Party get to decide who to run as a candidate for President in 2008. All that it takes to be considered for the nomination is for a candidate to get enough signatures on primary petitions.

So, the grassroots of the Democratic Party has just as much, if not more, power to decide who to nominate for President in 2008 as the Democratic leadership does. National media commentators don't have any official input in the process at all, no matter how much influence they try to wield.

This time around, we progressives are not going to let conservative groups like the Democratic Leadership Council try to dictate who our presidential candidates are. Instead, it's clear that the time has come for the Democratic grassroots to start its own discussion about who ought to represent the Democratic Party in 2008. With such a discussion, when the time comes to start formally fielding candidates, we'll be prepared. To further that discussion, we're making a few suggestions of our own.

These possible candidates are not being discussed by conservative media pundits, precisely because the conservatives would hate to see these people be given a chance to speak to a national audience. These potential candidates all have one thing in common: They have strong progressive records of public service. In fact, they're all members of the Progressive Caucus in the United States House of Representatives. That caucus has been led by Dennis Kucinich, who himself made a run for the White House in 2004. This is a uniquely distinguished group of progressive leaders, and they have a depth of integrity that American politics has not seen on the national level for quite some time.

One thing you'll see with this group is that there are many ways to work with the mathematics of the Electoral College map. Many conservative Democrats have insisted that the Democratic Party has to surrender its values and adopt the extremist agenda of Southern conservatism in order to win back the White House. As far as we're concerned, such a strategy would destroy the Democratic Party by permanently driving away its progressive base.

There are alternative regional strategies that work. No, we don't have to have a nominee from a die-hard blue state. The Midwest, the Great Lakes rust belt, the Southwest and the principled progressive South are all up for grabs, and would put the Democratic Party over the top in 2008 - if the Democratic Party has the guts to be true to its progressive values and stands up to George W. Bush over the next four years.

Potential candidates we're watching for 2008:

Marcy Kaptur
Strengths:
  • Represents the 9th District in Ohio, and could bring in not just that battleground state, but other populous midwest states as well
  • Has a long history working on agricultural issues - a plus in red states
  • Has a strong progressive record - to inspire the 48 percent base and the 3 percent more that we need to win
  • Isn't it time we chose a woman to run for President?
    Find out more about Marcy Kaptur at her official congressional web site.

    Marcy Kaptur President (bumper sticker)

    Marcy Kaptur President (bumper sticker)

    John Lewis
    Strengths:

  • Represents the 5th District in Georgia, and could force the Republicans to fight for votes across the South, while highlighting the racist foundation of Republican dominance in the region
  • Has a distinguished record as a civil rights leader, as a contemporary of Martin Luther King Jr., and so could speak with authority on the need to restore freedom in America
  • Has a strong progressive record as a member of the Progressive Caucus
  • An African-American presidential nominee is long overdue
    Find out more about John Lewis at his official congressional web site

    John Lewis President 2008 Button

    John Lewis President 2008 Button

    Ed Pastor
    Strengths:

  • Represents the 4th District in Arizona, and so could put the Southwest back into play. A Democratic victory in the Southwest would have made a Bush victory impossible in 2004.
  • Has held several leadership positions in the House of Representatives, and so has the contacts necessary to make an effective run
  • Has a strong progressive record as a member of the Progressive Caucus
  • Has served as leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and so is adept at speaking to the concerns of America's fastest growing ethnic minority group. 40 percent of hispanics voted Republican in 2004 - and Democrats can earn their votes back with a principled appeal to the values of hard work and a fair deal from government
    Find out more about Ed Pastor at his official congressional web site

    Ed Pastor for President Bumper Sticker

    Ed Pastor for President Bumper Sticker

    Tammy Baldwin
    Strengths:

  • Represents the 2nd District in Wisconsin, a battleground state that Democrats had to fight hard for in 2004. If Democrats can secure the upper midwest, especially Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, it will be very difficult for the Republicans to keep the White House in 2008.
  • Serves on the judiciary committee in the House of Representatives, and so has experience dealing with the kind of voting rights issues that have dominated the last two presidential elections. She will be able to prepare a fair elections team as part of her campaign to prevent voter suppression before it happens.
  • Has a strong progressive record as a member of the Progressive Caucus
  • Tammy Baldwin is proudly and openly lesbian, and it's time for America to exorcise the homophobic hatred that has propelled the Republican Party to power.
    Find out more about Tammy Baldwin at her official congressional web site

    Tammy Baldwin for President Button

    Tammy Baldwin for President Button

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