Today, Michigan Democrats go to the polls to help choose a presidential nominee—either Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, or Dennis Kucinich. Barack Obama and John Edwards are not on the ballot; they withdrew their names following the conflict between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the state party over the date of the primary.
So what’s an Obama or Edwards supporter to do? A few creative suggestions have come up. Voters could check “uncommitted,” as the two leading no-show campaigns are urging, according to the state’s Democratic party chairman, Mark Brewer. Or Democrats could take a page from Michigan Republicans’ historical playbook with strategic cross-over votes for Mitt Romney, as Markos Moulitsas Zúniga suggests on the Daily Kos blog.
The editors of News Hits, a department of the Detroit alt-weekly Metro Times, have a more straightforward idea: Vote Kucinich. They argue that Kucinich’s positions on the issues—more than any other candidate’s—actually reflect those of many liberals before they do all the political math and settle on some other, more viable candidate.
The column also notes that today’s primary presents “a perfect opportunity for progressives in Michigan to make a statement without taking any risk.” While the plan probably won't win Kucinich any delegates at the national convention (he's not likely to get the 15 percent of Michigan Democrats he needs, and the DNC is still holding out on alloting the renegade state any delegates), it could establish him as a new brand—Kucinich: The Candidate of Risk-Free Political Statements.