Kucinich: ‘Defeat Has Never Had Power Over Me’

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Less than 48 hours after suffering defeat in a brutal primary contest, a pensive Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says his political career isn’t necessarily over. In an interview in his Capitol Hill office, Kucinich told TPM he’s “open” to new possibilities but hasn’t made up his mind about what he’ll do next.

Kucinich pointed out that of the 40 elections he’s contested, he has won 32 of them and lost eight, including four unsuccessful bids for Congress before he finally came to Washington in 1997.

“I’m no stranger to defeat,” he told me. “But defeat has never had power over me. It’s never changed me. Nor has victory. So I’m at peace with where things are with respect to me. And I’m open for whatever possibilities are out there.”Kucinich, a hero of the anti-war left who ran for president in 2004 and 2008, fell prey on Super Tuesday to a GOP-led redistricting scheme that chopped up his Cleveland district and pitted him against 30-year Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) in a primary noted for its ugliness.

Kucinich didn’t outwardly declare interest in running for Congress again, whether in Ohio or another part of the country, but didn’t rule anything out either.

“I’m still congressman till the end of the year. I’m also open to whatever comes up. But there isn’t anything I’ve been thinking about,” he said. “I ask only to be of service. I’m not sure what form that will take. I can’t describe what that will look like.”

Asked whether he believes Kaptur ran an honorable campaign, he declared flatly, “No.”

“I’m not going to talk any more about it,” he said. “All the videos that were put out, I think, are easily accessible on YouTube. Draw your own conclusions.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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