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Cynthia McKinney favored for the Green Party's presidential nod

This weekend, just a few minutes from where Barack Obama lives, a new challenger will emerge to his White House bid (as well as John McCain's).

The Green Party -- which with Ralph Nader as its standard-bearer played a major role in the 2000 Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia is expected to emerge as the Green Party presidential nominee election (and then, with little-known David Cobb as its candidate, had virtually no impact on the 2004 vote) -- opened its national convention today at the ornate Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago. On Saturday afternoon, it will choose its nominee for this year's presidential race (with the acceptance speech to follow).

The odds-on favorite to claim the nod is Cynthia McKinney, who represented a Georgia House district for five terms, surprisingly got knocked off in the 2002 primary, reclaimed the seat in 2004 and then lost the primary two years later -- in part because of the furor over a scuffle she had with a Capitol policeman.

If she triumphs in the delegate balloting over three rivals, McKinney would be the first black and the first woman picked for president by the Greens. That's not quite as impressive as what Obama is in line to achieve and what Hillary Clinton came close to -- the party, dedicated to environmentalism and nonviolence, only began running a national ticket in 1996 (with Nader heading it).

In his consequential 2000 showing, Nader won almost 2.9 million votes nationwide and -- Democrats forever will be convinced -- cost Al Gore the White House by siphoning enough support to keep him from carrying Florida and New Hampshire (carrying with one would have won Gore the presidency).

Cobb won all of 119,859 votes four years ago ... and did not affect the outcome in a single state.

Given that McKinney has a degree of national name recognition, she ought to be able to surpass Cobb's total vote. But as of now, it's hard to imagine she'll sway the outcome in a particular state.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (4)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I don't really mind horserace coverage (eg, "it's hard to imagine she'll sway the outcome in a particular state"), altho I don't consider it useful to the democratic process. But when horserace coverage eliminates attention to what is essential to the democratic process - where candidates stand on important political issues - then we have a real problem.

Why is it that the media talk endlessly about how third parties might affect the outcome of the election, but almost never discuss those parties' principles and proposals? This is a vital service provided by third parties because the Democrats and Republics agree on many urgent political issues, like support for the drug war, opposition to single-payer healthcare, having the US account for over half of the world's military spending, the need to lower gas prices and make global warming worse - I could go on.

Since the reporters themselves refuse to raise these issues, they could at least acknowledge the fact that third parties do so. But instead they devote their attention to the "spoiler" issue - which would, incidentally, be eliminated by a simple voting reform like instant runoff voting. Another important issue the media won't touch.

Are all reporters so cynical and jaded that their only interest is who will win, and not the health of our democracy?

The Green Party must really be confused and desperate. After watching Cynthia McKinney's behavior, hitting the Capitol Hill police officer, in 2006, I couldn't imagine her running for dog catcher. Why would anybody in their right mind elect McKinney to anything ... let alone the Presidency of the United States?

I find it interesting that some of my fellow americans think that a little scuffle with a police is unforgiveable but have no qualms with a president who has murdered thousands of innocent women and children in Iraq and 4000 or so american troops.
I suggest that the previous comment was moraly confused, at best.

The American Ruse &
when Black Friday comes.

Honesty or lies?
Compassion or greed?
Intelligence or narrow-minded?
Guts, or go along to get along?

Ralph Nader
Cynthia McKinney

Ron Paul
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich

Jesse Ventura
H. Ross Perot
President Carter


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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