Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Thursday that a primary challenge to Obama coming from a competitive candidate would strengthen the process, and probably the president as well.
During an interview with C-SPAN, Kucinich explained that while he thought President Obama was clearly likely to overcome such a confrontation, the challenge would help the president construct a more vibrant candidacy.
"I think primaries can have the opportunity of raising the issues and making the Democratic candidate a stronger candidate," Kucinich said, according to The Hill. "I think it's safe to predict that President Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party, but he could be a stronger nominee if he receives a strong challenge in the primary."
Rumors of a Democrat rising to challenge Obama have been passed around in the past year, especially amid fluctuating and at times weak approval ratings -- although talk of such a challenge may not come close to the speculation that faced President Clinton midway through his first term. Kucinich himself has been floated as one potential challenger, though the Ohio Democrat has repeatedly denied that he has any plans to launch a campaign himself.
Last summer, Kucinich responded to a flare-up caused by inflammatory comments made by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs toward the "professional left," saying that liberals were, in fact, behind the president, though they admittedly wanted more from him.
"I think that Mr. Gibbs and the White House need to realize that liberals support the president but the criticism is really a measure of hopes that have not been realized," Kucinich said. "We have to get America back to work. That is the key and central issue of all of this and in addition, if I might, don't forget about getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq."