“The time for confrontation has come for me,” Cynthia McKinney told about 60 supporters on December 4. Launching her quest for the Green Party Presidential nomination, McKinney compared her “revolution” to Haiti, Venezuela, and war-torn Cote d’Ivoire.
“Cynthia,” as she prefers to be called, spoke to a crowd of about 60 gathered at the Paige Library Building on the Campus of Texas Southern University, a primarily African-American college in Houston.
Arriving 10 minutes after the 7 p.m. scheduled start time, McKinney sashayed through the crowd smartly dressed in a colorful pants suit and scarf. Personally greeting each attendee, she handed out pastel flyers emblazoned with the words, “Leading a Peace Slate to Reclaim our Nation.” She looked each potential supporter in the eye, with a big smile, and said, “I really need your support.”
McKinney has taken this message on the road through several states, explaining Green Party members had always supported her candidacy, and she had always shared the party’s philosophy. “They [the Green Party] first asked me in 2000 and again in 2004 to become a part of their national drive,” McKinney told an audience in Illinois recently. “With the Democratic Party having left so many of its base supporters behind, the appeal of the Green Party was one that I could hear.”
She brought a similar message to Houston on December 4th. After two brief (and dynamic) left-wing artists – a poet and a gospel singer – Cynthia took the stage. Her speech was short: 20 minutes tops, and rhythmic – no stuttering; she didn't miss a beat.
Announcing her campaign to reach all “51 States including the District of Columbia” explained: “I've belatedly become a member of the Green Party…No other platform speaks to the African American community as acutely as the Green Party platform.”
Asked about Barack Obama, McKinney echoed a theme from a controversial 2002 Black Congressional Caucus speech. She said, “Look at the Colin Powells, the Condeleeza Rices, the Ward Connerlys...We have to be careful with the black people who are put before us by the media.” She went on to speak of “COINTELPRO,” which she described as a 1960s-era covert plan launched by the CIA to replace Dr. Martin Luther King with a more moderate voice. Apparently, in McKinney’s mind 40 years later, Barack Obama is the CIA’s replacement.
There was virtually no media at McKinney 's speech, save the local Pacifica station, KPFT.
The former six-term Democrat Congresswoman was ousted in 2006 from Georgia’s 4th Congressional district for the second time. In 2002, she spoke to the Black Congressional caucus claiming that President Bush had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. She also openly solicited $10 million from the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected the check after the prince suggested U.S. foreign policy had brought on 9/11. McKinney’s actions resulted in her first electoral defeat in the 2002 Democratic primary, after serving five terms in office. On the night of her 2002 primary defeat, McKinney’s father told media, “Jews have bought everybody...J-E-W-S.” She came back in 2004, and promptly signed a “call for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur.”
Writing for U.S. News and World Report in 2002, Michael Barone pointed out:
Some three-quarters of McKinney's contributions came from people with Muslim or Arab names, most from outside Georgia. She received contributions from people under federal investigation for links to terrorists and from people who have voiced support for Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Middle East. In response to criticism, McKinney said she would not “racially profile” her contributors.
In the 2008 election season, anti-Semitism marks both left-winger McKinney and right-winger Ron Paul. In the fever swamps of the political extremes, few seem to be bothered by it, just as few on the Left seem to note that Haiti is not a great model of success to be emulated.
Reached at his office in San Francisco, ballot access expert Richard Winger explains:
The Greens are on in 21 states right now. If Cynthia McKinney is the nominee, and if she qualifies for primary season matching funds, and if the FEC pays primary season matching funds quickly, it is possible she could get on in all 51.
Ironically, the one state where she might have the greatest difficulty Winger said, was her home State of Georgia. Other states where she might miss the ballot include Indiana, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, all states with notoriously difficult barriers for third party ballot access.
Winger went on to note that McKinney's ultimate success may depend more on the FEC:
The FEC says the money for the two major party conventions comes first, and so does the money for the two major party general election funds. So the extent to which Cynthia gets matching funds early in 2008 depends on the taxpayers checking the box “yes” and sending in their 1040s early.
McKinney seems to be modeling her effort much along the lines of another African-American female presidential candidate from the 1990s Lenora Fulani. Fulani and her cult-like “New Alliance Party” never got more than a half-a-million votes. But they did qualify for millions in federal campaign matching funds. Given McKinney's high profile and celebrity among the conspiracy-minded Left, her impact on the general election could be greater.
Ralph Nader received roughly three million votes in 2004 running on the Green Party line. McKinney’s Presidential effort could pull more African-American votes than Nader did, particularly if Obama falters. A 3-to-5 million vote margin for the Green nominee is possible. That sort of vote margin coming out of the Democrat column could prove devastating to Hillary Clinton. Just as McKinney’s ideas would prove devastating to the United States.