Darcy Richardson: ‘Why I’m Running for President’


While it was my fervent hope that a candidate of national stature and credibility would challenge President Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries, I have entered my name in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary to offer my fellow disillusioned Democrats a choice.

The growing sense of political hopelessness, frustration and alienation symbolized in the fledgling Occupy Wall Street movement represents a much larger national trend.

I hope that my candidacy, as limited as it may turn out to be, might in some small measure restore a belief in American politics and American government, reinforcing the notion that real change can be achieved at the ballot box.

In addition to New Hampshire, I intend to enter several other Democratic primaries, including my birthplace of Pennsylvania, which votes in late April.

I had originally hoped that somebody like Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio or Florida firebrand Alan Grayson would carry the progressive banner against the Obama Administration. I have personally encouraged several of them to run, without success.

I simply didn’t anticipate the kind of paralysis that seems to have immobilized the party’s progressives when it comes to challenging a sitting President of their own party.

Sadly, there’s no Gene McCarthy on the horizon.

Yet we need, perhaps now more than ever, someone with the courage to stand up and fight for the progressive values and causes that President Obama paid so much lip service to in 2008.

While I did not see any great threat to the Democratic Party’s unity and strength in mounting such a seemingly quixotic challenge to an incumbent president, I thought a candidacy by one of those mentioned above could have served as an important and healthy counterbalance to an administration too often willing to forsake the party’s proud progressive legacy in its haste to compromise with the “Party of No.”

Government isn’t the enemy.

I think it’s fair to say, and should be said, that President Obama needlessly squandered his first two years in office, saddling the nation with health care legislation that nobody really wanted instead of fighting for a single-payer Medicare-for-All program that would insure the basic health needs of every American.

While pushing for legislation seen by many on the Left as a boon to the private insurance industry, the President virtually ignored the country’s mounting jobs crisis — until he started running for re-election, that is.

Extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy added insult to injury and, in no small measure, helped to give rise to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unlike the last Democratic administration, the gap between rich and poor has widened substantially during Obama’s presidency.

The recipient of a staggering $37.6 million in Wall Street money between 1998 and his election in 2008, the President has been about as effective in turning this recession-ravaged economy around as Herbert Hoover in 1932. That was, of course, the year when the beleaguered Republican President tried to rescue the ailing U.S. economy with the passage of the relatively modest Emergency Relief and Construction Act and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, neither of which came close to ending the Great Depression.

Instead of modeling his economic policy agenda after Herbert Hoover, President Obama and his advisers should have instead studied FDR and the New Deal.

The President’s $787 billion stimulus package in 2009 — much of which was used by Republican governors and GOP-controlled legislatures to balance state budgets — did little for the private sector and was simply too meager to pull the country out of the depths of the “Great Recession,” a devastating economic downturn that millions of Americans believe never ended.

The President’s paltry and late-in-the-game $447 billion son-of-stimulus — if approved — will have the same minimal effect. However, it’s proving to be a powerful campaign weapon for a President desperately trying to reclaim his dispirited base. A cynic might say that’s its real purpose.

As should be clear to everybody, the President is now in full campaign mode. Progressives shouldn’t be fooled again.

The Democratic Party needs a bold and decisive leader, somebody who will fight for poor, working and middle-class Americans — those who have been mercilessly pummeled throughout this seemingly never-ending economic crisis.

More than 25.8 million Americans are out of work or only marginally employed, and millions have tragically lost their homes. Small businesses, the backbone of the U.S. economy, are struggling while cash-rich major corporations amass record profits and park hordes of cash overseas.

The American people are hurting, and they’re hurting badly.

Working together, let’s send our President a message he can‘t ignore.


To learn more about Darcy Richardson’s campaign for the Democratic nomination, visit www.darcy2012.com.


18 Responses

  1. Mark Skudlarek

    11/02/2011, 09:46 am

    I could sure use a Real option at the voter’s box. I’m extremely unlikely to vote for either branch of the Capitalist Party (Dem or Rep), but my mind is still somewhat open and skeptical.

    What is your position on the Industrial Destruction of the Earth? As One who stands on the side of Earth, and as things in DC stand right here and now, the Corporate Government is very much “the enemy.” 200 species become extinct each day, so that Americans can have plastic garbage, 300 TV channels, an unrivaled Imperial Military Machine, and chicken on steroids.

  2. OhioDon

    11/16/2011, 10:50 pm

    I can’t wait to see his campaign website. Progressives need a choice in the primaries. In the national election if it’s just obama and romney, I fear that all we can do is vote green or socialist.

  3. Nick

    11/19/2011, 07:30 pm

    Have you read any of his books. I especially like ‘A Nation Divided’ about the 1968 election. It is very apparent he understands politics and how history affects our nation. What this nation needs to do is bring together all of the groups not represented (courting for your vote is not the same) by either party. Gays, Blacks, Latino, Atheists, and the Poor just to name a few. Each party puts up with these groups but do nothing after the election is over. I will be looking for an alternative as a frustrated voter. The only time I see politicians in bad neighborhoods is every election year.

  4. snarko

    11/29/2011, 08:29 pm

    I was delighted to read your interview on Wikipedia News today.

    A Texas supporter and former Texas delegate for Kucinich (President or re-election; I understand why he’s defending that seat as the re-districting just is a MESS, and he’s more likely to keep his seat than win President right now, and his voice should not be silenced*), a member of the Progressive Populist Caucus, an artist married to a musician both of whom are heavily involved in politics but WOULD RATHER NOT, but it’s just THAT AWFUL, so we’re involved:

    I love everything you have to say, and don’t think you lip service, as I am now getting from someone in the White House**.

    I was never “duped” by him, but threw that switch. I couldn’t do it for Kerry, at all. But the current President is not living up to my MINIMAL expectations (they weren’t that high): you’re right. Four terms of W.

    I disagreed on your answer to question about anything done right. But probably not enough for a book, which was part of your answer. It wasn’t in the news, but stopping banks WHO KNOW you can’t do that transaction, and let it pass anyway, FOR THREE DAYS, slapping a minimum (mine was $34.50 each, on even a $2 transaction) of $24 from anyone I spoke to.

    The banks KNEW it wouldn’t go through. I’d rather be declined, as I now am, than slapped $300 when they get around to it. He DID stop that. That is the ONLY thing I can think of though; the rest is W-IV.

    I begged for a Democratic challenger so badly, I was going to vote Republican in primaries here (not binding in Texas, at all) for Ron Paul and caucus for him, just to f up the GOP vote here (and at least Paul has a real opinion, even if I disagree with a lot).

    Of actual note: in Texas (these are nicknames) the Paulies, Kucinichens, and Deaniacs all basically get along with each other. We just make fun of each other. ;)

    I can’t wait until your election site is up; I can donate time to it, actually (I can do some web help if needed, or will act as moderator for forums). Money, well, I kick a few to Kucinich here and there (and will to you), but with this horrible job market, not able to do what I used to for others like Nadar (whom I supported for tthings like suing my state over equal access to ballot: is this a democracy, or isn’t it?) I can still offer time.

    I will help get you on ballot in Texas. I’ve done it for others: I will stand on a street corner and scream the facts until I have the signatures required. I volunteer this, as well. I’m from a merchant class, Sicilian, not considered a crazy person: actually, people always want to know how I’m voting. A local populist opinion leader.

    PLEASE I sign for general email, but let me help here somehow better…

    *FOR ALL: The Texas re-district fiasco was so bad, as Kucinich now faces, all of our Democrats FLED THE STATE for a “no quorom” on the vote, one of the most brilliant/creative moves I’ve ever witnessed anywhere when you’re a minority! We call them “Killer D’s”.

    They purposely tried to re-district away my Congressman, Lloyd Doggett, whom you’ll pry from my dead, cold hands. Not as great as Kucinich, but an honest person to his people.

    On his vote for so-called “national healthcare”, he opened up a free “town forum” (phone-in and free) to listen to everyone. Don’t judge Texas for the jerks that move here and say they’re a Texan: the people all stated we want public healthcare, not mandatory insurance. Like, that’s a cool Congressperson, they even do that. Also his door is one of few that’s never locked. You can always walk straight in.

    They split Austin (the only Democratic stronghold in Texas) four-ways to eliminate him. His district is nicknamed “the fajita”; it’s a small strip running from south Austin all the way to the Mexico border. A six hour drive, frankly.

    DOGGETT WINS 74+%. I want Kucinich back in, but he’s facing similar GOP-held re-district to their own purposes. I’ve asked him to talk to Doggett what went right, since I’m not sure exactly, especially since still a “landslide” victory, after cutting Austin to less than 1/4 of his vote.

    **I will never speak the opponent’s name. Ever. It gives power. Only speak of yourself. I can get into why this is important for web reasons, but not here. We want to know the name, Darcy Richardson, and no one else.

  5. H Ron Hartman

    12/26/2011, 01:09 am

    See my proposed Federal tax overhaul on Facebook and on https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/create-fair-and-flat-rate-transaction-tax-will-eliminate-budget-and-trade-deficits-and-restore-jobs/cyn7PHsm …. it is limited by BHO’s format to 800 characters – so it does not there statde that I want to nationalized the Federal Reserve System and put it under Social Security so any profits inure to the benefit of working class Americans and not to the top 400 families of the top 1%!

  6. H Ron Hartman

    12/26/2011, 01:20 am

    OBAMACARE is a convoluted mess – it needs massive simplification and speed-up of phase-in of important measures. Need a Single-payer alternative of Medicare18-64. Example: with one nationwide uniform rate for standard class and free yearly exams with discounts for healthy life styles up to 60% – if not obese, no drugs, nort alcoholic or STDs with this plan covering first $250,000/year per person and private insurers can come into market above that without ability for rate-ups and no exclusions for preexisting conditions! Keep it safe, simple, sane and secure!

    What Max Baucus did to those doctors and nurses – having them arrested – is a natioal disgrace and he and Ben Nelson as Democrtic Committee Chairmen are both aged DINOs and corporate suck-ups.

  7. Leo Wonsewith

    12/28/2011, 07:24 pm

    Close the borders in arizona, stop the illegals from ruining our country for us.
    Withdraw completely from the UN and stop spending millions to support it.
    Do not let the UN make any desisions for AMERICA on anything.
    Bring our troops home and let their people fight among themselves.
    start pumping and drilling our own oil in the USA.
    I believe the country can be straightened out,but it will take time and somebody
    to work at it.

  8. - bill

    01/05/2012, 06:36 pm

    Thanks, Darcy, for standing up for what so many better-known Democratic luminaries refused to. I would have expected better from people like Reich and Kucinich, but after the complete CPC and progressive pundit cave-in on the health-care ‘reform’ fiasco perhaps that should not be surprising.

    I could find nothing whatsoever to disagree with in your post here, which I only encountered after searching for who would be on the ballot here in NH next Tuesday. The reason I was searching was because I plan to cross party lines and vote for Ron Paul – not because I agree with much of what he stands for, but because several of his principal stances (on war, civil liberties, accountability in the financial industry, and drugs, for example) so desperately need exposure in our national political discourse.

    Had any credible effort (I understand that yours is serious, but your resources are too limited to have much effect – I had never heard of you before today) been made to primary Obama in the Democratic party I would have gladly suspended disbelief and joined it. So as a practical matter given the importance of some of Paul’s positions and my hope that he will continue to pursue them I can’t give you my vote, but wanted at least to give you my thanks.

  9. P WEBB

    01/09/2012, 11:41 am


  10. - bill

    01/10/2012, 07:19 pm

    My incompetence is your gain, Darcy. I was SURE that I remembered changing parties on voting day in some primary here long ago, but when I attempted to this evening I was told that I could not. Boy, was I glad that I had encountered you a few days ago – otherwise I would have had to write in someone like Howard Dean (and that vote might well not have been counted).

    I’m not sure how I would have felt voting for Paul, important though I believe his candidacy is. I do know that voting for you felt good (for Eugene Debs’ classic reason).

    I told my wife about you (I’m sure she would not have considered Paul at all), and she seemed to react positively (commenting that stances like yours should be encouraged). Hope you do well here tonight.


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