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.
2004 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
Edwards: 'We choose hope over despair'
Pollster tunes in to local voices
Sharpton, Kucinich join fold
Edwards' wife describes his rise
Kerry won't neglect Ohio
Kerry needs to prove he can lead the nation
McConnell calls attacks 'vile'
Prime-time speakers tonight
Ky. Takes Back Seat To Ohio
'Kerry parties' number 20 here
Gannett News Service convention coverage
Enquirer's election section
Girls prison under scrutiny
Hundreds honor Hoff, 'everyone's parent' at XU
Political funds face scrutiny
Auto pollution increases health risks
IN THE TRISTATE
More cars a concern in Evendale
Dems have a friend(?) in Flynt and his new book
Rate increase goes to voters
Local news briefs
Loveland may ease its rules on signs
Attorney general puts lottery in charge of bingo
Young Dems get campaign pointers
Guilty plea in gym scam
Former professor convicted of murder
Court asked to reconsider ban on Commandments
Hit-run victims get new shot at claims
Pendleton drug drive-through blocked
City schools plan hearing on budget
Suit against treasurer surprises county
West Chester center may be on Nov. ballot
Planners to consider Westwood rezoning
Transfer station coming to ex-landfill
Good Things Happening
Retirement wasn't idle time for L. Winiarski
Adjutant general fell into career
FOP wants into state budget suit
Bunning says veterans need best health care
Covington wants CSX bridge fixed
Judge rejects bond for murder suspect
Fletcher names 1st black to cabinet
Forest plan has foes on two sides
Florence Freedom hit with 9th lien
Gov. leaves comedy to pros
$143M settlement nets Ricky Martin, other CDs
Democrat Ridley wins Ky. Senate open seat
Sewer plant under way soon
Alexander may help get Boone new turf
Kentucky News briefs