Rep. Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia Democrat who marginalized herself in the House of Representatives, may be about to do the same again, this time on an even larger stage.
Speaking at the annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus last week — along with fellow about-to-be-ex-Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-Ala.) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — McKinney blamed the Democratic Party for her defeat, not the Jews who supported her opponent in the last days of the campaign.
That may be setting the stage for her next political move: a switch to the Green Party. The party captured some 3 million votes in the 2000 presidential contest — a tiny fraction of the overall vote, but enough to throw the contest to George W. Bush.
reports in Georgia have McKinney flirting with the idea of seeking the nomination as the vice-presidential running mate of perennial candidate Ralph Nader, or even the presidential nomination if Nader chooses not to run.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, said a McKinney candidacy under the Green banner would just accelerate the party’s drift to irrelevance.
“These are people at the political margins, and they’re working hard to leave the margins and join the lunatic fringe,” he said.
A McKinney switch to the Green Party, he said, would push the party still further from its environmentalist origins.
“The Greens in Europe have been shifting from an environmental focus to a focus on globalization and the whole panoply of anti-corporate issues,” he said. “That could happen to them here, as well, and McKinney could make it happen faster.”
McKinney lost the Aug. 20 primary to former Judge Denise Majette, also an African-American. Political analysts say Majette’s last-minute support from pro-Israel activists and McKinney’s support from Muslim and Arab-American groups were factors in the race.
But they say the biggest factor was McKinney’s harsh accusation that the Bush administration had information about the Sept. 11 terror attacks before they occurred but refused to act on it.