Roger L. Simon

Who gets to be a candidate?

Perpetual candidate Dennis Kucinich is in a snit. The Ohio Congressman has lashed out at John Edwards for suggesting the number of presidential candidates in debates should be limited. According to the AP, “Kucinich’s comments came after Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton were overheard Thursday discussing the possibility of limiting the number of participants in future presidential forums.”

At first glance, Kucinich would seem to be in the right. Democracy dictates openness.

But wait. Who gets to be a candidate anyway? Why Dennis who barely registers on the polls but seems to spend his entire life running for office? Why this unbelievably tedious narcissist? Why not you or me or anybody else? Who determines who appears on those nationally televised debates? What if your neighbor were to declare for the presidency? Is it fair that he or she would be denied equal time? Chances are they would be just as bright Dennis, who often seems to have a cognitive disorder, probably brighter.

The system clearly has some inherent corruption. While my sympathies are with Clinton and Edwards – let’s get Kucinich off the air already – something is obviously askew here.

UPDATE: Perhaps the Pajamas Media formula – or something like it – should be applied. If a candidate fails to register on national polls after a certain number of weeks or months, they should be removed. Call it the Ron Paul Formula. (Tonight Mr. Paul will once more be dumped from the PJM poll for failing to reach one percent on the latest Gallup.)