Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sharpton, Kucinich join fold

They stayed in the presidential race long after they had any chance of winning. Neither won a single state primary. Both were considered too far left - and perhaps a tad too quirky - to be elected.

But the Rev. Al Sharpton, the flamboyant preacher, activist and James Brown protege, and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the earnest vegan bachelor, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night in support of the candidate who made it the distance.

"They may have been perceived as offbeat during primary season but now for the Kerry campaign they serve a very serious purpose: to bring their followers into the Democratic fold," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Polling Institute in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. "They appeal to a particular wing of the party. Kerry needs to energize that wing."

Both men used their campaigns to push the Democrats to return to a more liberal agenda. Sharpton called it "slapping the donkey."

Kucinich was the last of the also-rans to abandon ship. He pulled out of the race only last week and endorsed Kerry.

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