Thursday, July 03, 2008

The 2008 Presidential Longshots: A Green from GA

The Green Party’s convention will be held in the coming weeks, and former Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney seems to be the presumptive nominee at this point, leading all other GP candidates comfortably in delegates (having 291.5). Ralph Nader, who isn’t running for the nod, is in second place (139), with Kat Swift (whose election site has a very un-presidential looking picture on the first page—then again, Wonder Woman would have made a fine president), Jesse Johnson, and Kent Mesplay in the 20’s.

McKinney is the daughter of a former member of the Georgia House (the two even served simultaneously in that body for a time, the first time a father and daughter had managed that). She served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and the U.S. House.

Fun facts:

She was the first female representative in the Georgia House to break the rule requiring women to wear dresses.

She was the first African American woman to represent Georgia in Congress.

She is a Ph.D. candidate at UC-Berkeley, and she got her B.A. from the same school as AnthonyS (The University of Southern California).

Has supported and even introduced legislation to impeach Bush.

Was involved with Cindy Sheehan’s bid to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from her San Francisco district.

Angered some Democrats during the 2000 election by saying that “Al Gore’s Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I’ve never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time.”

Served on the 9-11 Commission and the Hurricane Katrina Commission.

On the issues:

She supports real universal healthcare (unlike McCain, Clinton, Obama, etc.) via a single payer system.

Supports raising of CAFE standards and joining the Kyoto Protocol.

Supports Instant Run Off Voting.

Voted to prohibit the U.S. from participating in the NATO operations in Kosovo, and opposed The Iraq War: Episode One in the early 90’s.

Has a strong record on oppose free trade deals and voted against easing of trade relations with China on human rights grounds.

Opposes the Death Penalty.

McKinney is quite clear on a number of issues, especially environmental and social issues. From what I can tell, though, she lacks a clear economic message, which seems to be a problem for the GP in general (aside from anti-corporate stances). A long shot, to be sure, as I can’t see the GP gaining any traction in this Presidential election. I’d wager the disenchanted conservatives that won’t vote for McCain will give a leg up to the Libertarians or even the bat shit Constitution Party this go around.