“I’m running out here in 24 days,” he says to diners before placing an order for oatmeal cooked in water — no butter for the vegan, please.
Back home in his district, Kucinich champions workers rights, social justice for minorities and local transportation projects.
On the campaign trail, he’s the empathizer-in-chief. Over the course of a long Saturday morning in Toledo, one person was moved to tears at each of his three campaign stops.
At the diner, Peggy Green spills her woeful tale of unemployment as tears well in her eyes and her face reddens. She was laid off by a law firm at the end of last year, and she’s about to lose her home because she can’t pay her $340 mortgage.
Kucinich holds her and tells her not to quit.
“He said to hang in there, just hang in there and don’t give up,” Green, 59, said.
Afterward, Kucinich explained in the gray slush-filled parking lot that he will personally call on Green’s behalf to find her an attorney.
But it’s a dicey situation, he said, because Congressional rules prevent him from doing casework for residents outside his district. This is only complicated by the fact that he’s running against Green’s Congresswoman, Kaptur.
But in a few short weeks, the tension between Kaptur and Kucinich, or Toledo and Cleveland, won’t be an issue. If this is indeed the end of the road for Kucinich, what will the lifetime politician do for his next act?
“Spend a lot of time with my wife, and I’d like that,” Kucinich said with a smile.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.