Democrat wants u 2 txt 4 peace in Iraq

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the 2008 presidential candidate from Ohio, launches campaign aimed at giving war opponents another means of reaching the White House and Congress.

Anne Broache Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Anne Broache
covers Capitol Hill goings-on and technology policy from Washington, D.C.
Anne Broache

Text messaging as means of political outreach is hardly a new idea, but 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich claims a new drive launched by his campaign on Monday stands out from all the rest.

The vegan congressman from Ohio is asking Americans opposed to the Iraq war to text the word "peace" to the number 73223. From there, he plans to forward on the responses to President Bush and the Pentagon.

It all amounts to what his campaign staff calls "the first time text messaging has been used to try and change American policy." (Wait, selecting the next American Idol doesn't count?)

"You can vote now to end the war in Iraq," Kucinich tells viewers in a video message posted on YouTube Monday. "Text peace now to send a message to the White House and to the Democratic Congress that now's the time to end the war."

Kucinich's video message is also scheduled to air on Monday evening during CNN's first-ever YouTube-inspired Democratic presidential debates in South Carolina, a campaign spokesman told CNET News.com.

Other White House contenders seeking endearment among the gadget-dependent set, including Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, are already offering their followers text message updates about their campaigns. Edwards, for his part, also recently used the tool to hit about 13,000 supporters with the plea, "Will u donate $ to my campaign?"