A confluence of events has left Dennis Kucinich in a tough spot. Ohio will lose two seats in the House of Representatives after the Census showed a sharp drop in the state's population, Republicans gained control of the Ohio house, Cleveland's precipitous drop in population means one of the seats will come from Northeast Ohio, and it looks like as the time for redistricting nears, the GOP will target Kucinich's seat.
So here's Dennis, lovable and loved, a stalwart of Cleveland politics, playing out the string in a term that could be his last. As the AP points out, when a representative's district is targeted for elimination, most times that rep will stay quiet and lay low for awhile.
Dennis is acting like that drunk guy at the bar at 2 a.m. who walks around saying, "Which lucky lady is going to have the pleasure of taking me home tonight? Come on ladies, speak up. Who wants some Dennis?"
But Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich is making the most noise as he enters his eighth term by actively shopping around for a new district.
"I will not wait until a new Ohio map is produced to begin this crucial discussion of the consequences of congressional redistricting," Kucinich, who was first elected in 1996, wrote in an e-mail to his constituents last month, exhorting them to weigh in with suggestions and advice. "The question will not be: Who is my opponent? The question will be: Where is my district? Seriously."
"I may be more proactive on this question than any other member right now," Kucinich acknowledged in a telephone interview with The Associated Press last week. "But I've got a different situation, because Ohio is losing two seats and the Legislature is Republican."
Sutton declined to comment on a possible primary challenge by Kucinich, saying in an e-mail to the AP that redistricting will play itself out. Kucinich refused to say whether he would consider a potential run against one of his colleagues in order to keep his political career alive.
It appears that Kucinich's territory will be split between Marcia Fudge and Betty Sutton, either of which Kucinich could take on in a Democratic primary in 2012.
If he does, may we humbly suggest, "Who wants some Dennis?" as a campaign slogan.