Friday, April 13, 2007

Party People

From The Hippo:

Party People

An occasional series on the 2008 presidential wannabes and their antics

Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio (D) & Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico (D)

• Seen: Kucinich and Richardson were both at New England College on Wednesday, April 4

• Approximate Crowd Kucinich: Approximately 150 to 175 people attended, mostly college students and middle-aged adults who tend not to wear coats and ties.
Richardson: Approximately 200 people, an equal mix of students, faculty and adults sporting casual business attire.

• Other Media
Kucinich: Associated Press photographer Jim Cole and what appeared to be a videographer from a local cable station.
Richardson: Several still photographers, Fox television and their political correspondent, Carl Cameron, a writer from the Washington Times and a nattily dressed television reporter wearing polished shoes with tassels.

Main Attraction: New England College offered a table full of cookies, brownies, coffee, soda and bottled water.

• Best Line
Kucinich: “The president and the vice president have made statements that violate international law and national law. Is this not the appropriate time to think about impeachment?...Some of my colleagues in Congress say no. I say it is appropriate to have that discussion. Can I have a show of hands?” (About two thirds of the audience raised their hands.)
Richardson: “I believe Congress should go back and de-authorize this war. They authorized it years ago, now they should de-authorize it...I’m not a rock star. I don’t have all the money that all these other candidates have, but I’m going to go door to door, house to house ... all I want from you is to keep your powder dry, wait until you see all the candidates.”

Gist: Kucinich does not travel with a large entourage, nor does he appear to have a contingency of advance people. Richardson, on the other hand, is surrounded by staffers and advance people.

Kucinich wants to be seen as a champion for the middle class and believes the rising cost of health care and the lack of jobs are the two major contributors to the number of bankruptcies in America.

Richardson is quick to point to his experience as a former United Nations ambassador and deal maker and says he believes a diplomatic solution to the Iraq situation is possible. Richardson also noted that he is taking a few days off the campaign trail to travel with a bi-partisan group to North Korea in the hopes of bringing back some remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War more than 50 years ago. — Lisa Brown

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
Seen: Guest lecturing Wednesday, April 4, at Dr. Tom Fitzpatrick’s “Business, Society and Economy” class at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.
Approximate crowd: 18
Other media: Connecticut TV and print

Main attraction: Undergraduate business students got the undivided attention of the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
Quote: “Enjoy every second of it, it’s all downhill after this,” Dodd said, after urging the junior class members to enjoy their last year of college.

Gist: Dodd told students about three lending areas he’s focusing on: the credit card industry, mortgage rates and access to capital. He took questions about Pentagon spending, international trade agreements, immigration and Social Security. Dodd criticized the current administration for not speaking out against Circuit City, which just fired 80 percent of its workers in order to find cheaper employees, and recommended strong financial penalties for companies that hire illegal workers. About the administration’s accumulated public debt, much of it owned by Japan and China, Dodd said, “That’s a dreadful legacy to leave the coming generation.” — Heidi Masek.

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