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An unconventional political wife

Elizabeth Kucinich on health care, tongue rings and love at first sight

MSNBC video
  Elizabeth Kucinich on the trail
Oct. 30: Dennis Kucinich’s running ‘mate,’ Elizabeth is a political policy fiend but not exactly the textbook political wife. She talks to MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell about life of the campaign trail.
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Norah O'Donnell
Chief Washington Correspondent

In her first cable television news interview, Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, sat down with MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell to discuss her relationship with her husband and their lives on the campaign trail.

Below is a transcript of the interview, which aired earlier Tuesday. 

NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Dennis Kucinich is running for president.

And he is a 5-foot, 7-inch veteran congressman who, though he consistently comes in at the bottom of the polls, is very popular among young people. At his side, his “running mate,” Elizabeth Kucinich, a 31-year-old 6-foot-tall red-haired Brit. She is a political policy expert, but some say she’s not exactly the textbook political wife.

How did you meet Dennis Kucinich?

ELIZABETH KUCINICH, DENNIS KUCINICH’S WIFE: It was my second week in America. It was a meeting on monetary policy. I was meeting with several different people in Washington. I had an eight-minute meeting and just knew as soon as I met Dennis that he was my husband. And just to correct you, Dennis is polling at fourth nationally.

O’DONNELL: Fourth nationally.

E. KUCINICH: In the Gallup Poll.

O’DONNELL: It is interesting when people hear that you met him and were married to him within three months.

E. KUCINICH: Yes. We were engaged the second time that we met. I didn’t even know what political party he belonged to, and he knew nothing about me, but we just knew. 

O’DONNELL: What did you know when you met him? On the second date you knew that you wanted to be married to him?

E. KUCINICH: He was my man. I mean, really. Eight-minute meeting on monetary policy, and just as soon as I met him, I knew. I saw him and knew that he was the one.

O’DONNELL: I mean, I ask you that because I pointed out Dennis Kucinich has been in Congress a long time. He’s almost twice your age. He’s known kind of in Washington as a policy wonk. And you are obviously very beautiful. It seems to some people sort of an unusual match.

E. KUCINICH: Well, I love him to bits in every single way. I love his mind, I love his work, I love everything about him. And I did from the second that I met. He has an incredible presence, which is very special.

O’DONNELL: And as a British girl, how have you enjoyed being out on the campaign trail here in America?

E. KUCINICH: It’s been incredible. Because when you’re in Britain, you only get to hear the administration’s voice. It is very, very important that the rest of the world get to hear the true views of the American people, and they are the views that Dennis really represents wholeheartedly.

His positions are mainstream America, and when we go around to meet thousands of people a week who are all expressing their distaste for the war in Iraq, war as an instrument of foreign policy they want going into Iran and want a proper health care system that services people as opposed to provides corporate profit, Dennis stands for the mainstream of America, and the mainstream of American stands with the mainstream of the rest of the world. The people are united.

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