The gaffes of Dennis Kucinich.

Politics and policy.
Oct. 3 2003 11:17 AM

The Gaffes of Dennis Kucinich

His most embarrassing quotes, in context.

Dennis Kucinich

Slate continues its short features on the 2004 presidential candidates. Previous series covered the candidates' biographies, buzzwords, agendas, worldviews, best moments, worst moments, and flip-flops. This series assesses each candidate's most embarrassing quotes, puts them in context, and explains how the candidate or his supporters defend the comments. Today's subject is Dennis Kucinich.

Quote: "The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars. Stardust and spirit unite, and we begin: One with the universe. Whole and holy. From one source, endless creative energy, bursting forth, kinetic, elemental. We, the earth, air, water, and fire source of nearly 15 billion years of cosmic spiraling" (remarks to Praxis Peace Institute, June 9, 2002).

Advertisement

Quote: "In that moment I had a new understanding that this flag, as spangled with stars as a bolt of heaven itself, connects the United States with eternal principles of unity, of brotherhood, of sisterhood. … One bright star shines for hope. Another star for optimism. Another for well-being. One for freedom. One for abundance. One for creativity. One for togetherness. One for peace. One star to wish upon to create your highest aspirations, to make your dreams come true" (remarks at Redwood Sequoia Conference, Sept. 14, 2002).

Quote: "(Singing Softly) O, say can you see
O, Canada! glorious and free!
(Speaking) O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave
(Singing) O, Canada!
(Speaking) We stand on guard for thee
(Slowly and Quietly) O, Canada, we stand on guard for thee"
(remarks at Conference on Unity, Sovereignty, and Prosperity, Nov. 30, 2002).

Quote: "We're asking our countries' leaders to understand that the world is undivided. We're asking our countries' leaders to see the world as an interconnected whole. We're asking our countries' leaders to take a holistic view of the world and to allow the globe, the sphere of the Earth herself, to exist free from an assault from space" (remarks in Malibu, Calif., Feb. 23, 2002).

Charge: Kucinich is "at risk of being tagged the 'Moonbeam Congressman' " (Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 10, 2003).

Context: According to the Associated Press and the Plain Dealer, Shirley MacLaine is the godmother to Kucinich's daughter. She introduced Kucinich to Chris Griscom, who has become a "spiritual adviser" to Kucinich. Griscom, who reportedly helped MacLaine "communicate with trees," has founded two institutes "to teach people how to connect with their inner [selves], partially by helping them to remember their past lives." Carol Rosin, another Kucinich friend and supporter, "helped arrange to send the cremated remains of her friend LSD guru Timothy Leary into space."

Defense: It's unclear how any of this bears on what Kucinich would do as president. Kucinich told the AP, "People want someone who understands and has a higher concept of where our country is going."

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

Avi Zenilman is a former Slate intern.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Watch Little Girls Swear for Feminism

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 23 2014 1:51 PM Is This the ISIS Backlash We've Been Waiting For?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 23 2014 1:46 PM The Real Secret of Serial Has Sarah Koenig made up her mind yet? 
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.