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Rather, Kucinich Reflect on Midterm Elections

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather headlined a Nov. 5 panel discussion at Georgetown reflecting on the recent midterm elections.

“American growth and jobs – that was what this election was about,” said Rather, who now manages a television news magazine on HDNet. “And in President Obama’s case, you promised a lot and you may have overpromised, but you have under delivered.”

Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) sponsored the panel, which was moderated by Jon-Christopher Bua, a White House commentator for the British television channel Sky News.

An adjunct professor in SFS’ BMW Center for German and European Studies, Bua teaches a course on the American-European perspective of politics and the media.

A Missed Moment

Panelists also included Henry Olsen, director of the American Enterprise Institute’s National Research Initiative; Harold Ickes, former deputy chief of staff to President Clinton; Adam Boulton, Sky News political editor; James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute; and Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief.

Kucinich, who just won re-election for his ninth term in Ohio’s 10th district, voiced his discontent with his own party.

“We had a historic moment in 2008 and the Democratic Party blew it – plain and simple,” Kucinich said. “I sat on the risers looking at two million people during inauguration.

“We had a moment where [there was] a New Deal type energy that could have transformed this country and put millions of people back to work, and [the Democratic Party] missed it.”

Not an Endorsement

Olsen noted that the Republicans, despite having won 61 seats in the house and getting closer to controlling the Senate, are rated “at or slightly lower” than Democrats.

“This should not be interpreted by Republicans as an endorsement of them,” Olsen said. “But on the other hand, it is very difficult to look at the election and see that primarily, as far as the current result, a repudiation of policies that have been advanced by the president.”

Brains and Egos

At the beginning of the event, Rather joked that with all the “brains” on the panel, he’d better speak first or he “may not get to say anything at all.”

“Or the egos, maybe,” Bua replied.

“There’s no ego like an anchorman’s ego, believe me,” Rather said.
 


(November 8, 2010)
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