Alien runs for president

February 16, 1996

A Canadian history professor is running in the New Hampshire primary as the first foreigner to run for president of the United States.

Bruce Daniels, a University of Winnipeg professor, has dual citizenship and has been a long-time member of the Democratic Party. He decided to run not to win but to advance some issues he feels are not being addressed.

A specialist in early American history, he is an unabashed liberal, a term the US right has in the last decade used to refer to politicians they see as wafflers and easy on crime.

"Why am I running? My campaign is intended to be neither frivolous nor quixotic. I hope to use the New Hampshire primary as a forum to address and advance values in which I believe. I want President Clinton to be not just a better president than I would be, but a better president in his second term than he has been in his first.

"I believe in the efficacy of government to better the lives of the citizenry," said Professor Daniels, who resents constant attacks on the federal government.

He is one of 21 candidates running in next Tuesday's primary and welcomes the diverse ballot. He claims the issues raised by those unlikely to win and fringe candidates keep a dialogue going in the party.

Professor Daniels dislikes many of the Democratic Party's more right-wing promises and found Bill Clinton's recent state of the union address to be "85 per cent centrist Republican".

"It was a politically brilliant speech," said Professor Daniels, who nevertheless believes that the president will win the next election. But that is where he finds a problem in the Democratic approach.

"He has to be willing to lose an election," he said. "I am appalled by his recent decision to pursue conservative policies after the Congressional elections of 1994.

"Apparently, to secure his re-election President Clinton is willing to equivocate on issues in order to appeal to the middle ground of American politics. Ido not believe this will work nor do I believe that it should.

"President Clinton has stood by in near silence as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Public Broadcasting System have been attacked by anti-intellectual bigots in society and the Congress."

With a bargain basement campaign, costing in the region of Can$4,000 to Can$5,000 (Pounds 1,858 to Pounds 2,322), Professor Daniels admires the openness of the political process.

The campaigning has been hectic, with late night flights to be back in class the next morning.

But it appears that Professor Daniels will not let politics overshadow his life as a teacher. Recently, the New York Times Magazine had to be told to call back.

He had an appointment in his office already scheduled. With a student.

Professor Daniels has a campaign web site at http://www.daniels.winnipeg.mb.ca

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