The Green Party has nominated former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as its presidential candidate for 2008. She'll have to wait her alphabetical turn in my candidate list for a closer look at her agenda, but her nomination is news worthy of immediate comment. Her candidacy now gives an outlet to liberal women who can't reconcile themselves to Senator Clinton's defeat -- as long as they can stand a candidate whose foreign policies differ drastically from Clinton's. McKinney is resolutely anti-imperialist and anti-war, while her support for Palestinian causes supposedly contributed to her defeat in a 2002 primary. Her comeback in 2004 demonstrates her resilience, while her defeat in a 2006 primary again shows the hostility of the Democratic party mainstream toward someone who really wants to impreach President Bush and improve American behavior in the world. Here's a quick career history.
McKinney should probably be ranked with Ralph Nader and Bob Barr in a second tier of candidates who benefit from name recognition for extensive public activity. My first guess is that she'd be the candidate most likely as President to at least attempt to hold the Bush administration accountable for its alleged misdeeds. More than Nader, I suspect, she'll be in a position to pressure Senator Obama to slow his drift toward the "center." She could very well cancel out any votes that Senator McCain will lose to Barr -- depending on how many ballots the Greens can get on.
Expect a wave of ad hominem attacks from the liberal establishment. Get ready for reminders of her alleged craziness as purportedly demonstrated by her altercation with a Capitol security guard. Anticipate hints of anti-Semitism based on her sympathy for Palestinians and her father's comments about Jewish influence in her 2002 primary defeat. Prepare for charges that she is a "truther," a 9-11 conspiracy theorist. Like every independent candidate, she will be called crazy or egotistical, as if the only motive for every candidate but two is vanity. But the more of this you hear, the more the Democrats are worried about her.
Maybe 2008 will be a milestone election, given the fact that two former members of Congress are running as independent candidates. Like it or not, that fact gives Barr and McKinney an instant level of credibility that most of the people on the list won't reach. One of them should think of asking the other to do a set of joint appearances of the sort that McCain proposed to Obama, perhaps with Nader along for the ride. They might fear that they would cancel each other out, but a joint tour might actually enhance people's sense that there really are more than two choices this time around.
Here is a video she made upon declaring her candidacy for the Green nomination last December.
In the interest of fairness, when other candidates on the list have similar content available for embedding, I will post it so you hear what they have to say.