Dennis Kucinich: An Unpredictable American Original

This week's episode of KCRWs "Scheer Intelligence" features Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer in conversation with Dennis Kucinich, Ohio's eight-term congressman and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, who reveals tales about the underbelly of politics going back to his days as the "Boy Mayor" of Cleveland on the late 1970s. The journalist and pol revisit how Scheer's Playboy magazine interview, which both concede may have cost Kucinich his mayoral reelection, led to a longtime friendship. In the strange world of politics, Kucinich explains how former Republican Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Ohioan, tried unsuccessfully to aid him when Ohio Democrats "working on behalf of certain interests" reapportioned his district into an unwinnable one, ensuring his Congressional defeat in 2012. Kucinich, who took on the political-corporate machine as Cleveland mayor and has gone on to spend a lifetime battling special interests, asks whether today's "oligarchs who run our politics will simply claim ownership of everything and have it privatized." On a lighter note, he talks about how friends Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson have influenced his life, and he hints with some vigor that he is not quite ready to step off the stage of electoral politics, with himself in a leading role. As he puts it, "Stay tuned."

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