Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Kucinich speaks at Union

A mix of Wisconsinites including students, adults and children gathered in the Memorial Union’s Great Hall Monday afternoon to show support for presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich in what served as one last distinct push before the state sets out for the polls today.

Kucinich’s progressive and liberal views attracted a diverse mix of individuals Monday, including musician Tim Reynolds, who played before and after the rally to stir up support for the candidate.

Kucinich entered the hall to cheers, a standing ovation and a musical medley courtesy of Reynolds.


“Hello, Madison,” said an energetic Kucinich. “Are you ready to take America in a new direction?”

A room filled with cheering and clapping grew silent as Kucinich’s speech began, a speech largely full of antiwar sentiment. More than half of the rally was focused on getting troops out of Iraq without abandoning the Iraqi people.

“On Tuesday, your votes will enable America to go in the direction to bring our troops home,” Kucinich said, expressing his passion about “getting out of there” and adding that the United States needs to stop trying to be the policeman of the world. Kucinich’s extreme antiwar sentiment is coupled with his opposition to the PATRIOT Act, which he said he would seek to overturn if elected. However, he maintained his prime focus on Iraq.

“The Democratic Party has every intention of staying in Iraq for a number of years,” Kucinich said. “We are going to be facing a draft. This isn’t a scare tactic. This is a fact.”

Kucinich’s speech heavily stressed tuition and draft concerns, which Reynolds believes are main reasons why students should support Kucinich for president.

“Ultimately he has [students’] interests at heart,” Reynolds said, referring to education and the draft. “This is going to interrupt a lot of people’s lives.”

Kucinich acknowledged the large number of students and young adults in the crowd. He emphasized the drastic effects that the war in Iraq could have on younger generations.

“I’m looking at a lot of young faces in the crowd,” Kucinich said. “We cannot — we must not let these young lives be sacrificed.”

As the crowd showed agreement to Kucinich’s views and ideas through clapping and cheering, he continued his Iraq comments, stressing the need to care not only about the American people but also the people of Iraq.

“We want U.N. peacekeepers in, and that’s when we bring our troops home,” Kucinich said. “It’s not about abandoning the people of Iraq.”

Ending this primary point of his speech, Kucinich referred to the courage of the American people and the importance of this courage, calling it the thing that brought the audience together and will open all doors for the creation of possibilities.

After a brief question-and-answer session consisting of two questions, one focusing on Israel and the other on health care, Kucinich said goodbye to the crowd with handshakes and brief conversations.

Reynolds again took the stage beginning with the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” and following up with more instrumentals, displaying the notable guitar work he is typically associated with.

Several students and supporters stayed to listen to Reynolds play after the speech. One student mentioned Kucinich’s “no strings attached” motto as one reason why he came out to support him Monday.

“He doesn’t have strings attached,” said Nate Haugle, a University of Wisconsin second-year senior majoring in engineering.

Haugle also said he thinks Kucinich is running on principle.

“I think he’ll do pretty well in Wisconsin and California. As far as long-term success … Who knows?” he said.

In one last comment from Reynolds before he took the stage to close out the rally, he emphasized the importance of common sense.

“Liberalism and common sense has become such a radical idea,” Reynolds said, adding that anyone with common sense would see how disturbing a draft and loss of education funding would be for students nationwide.

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