McKinney Makes No Apologies for Her Ambition, Her Liberalism
Murray, Frank J., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
DECATUR, Ga. - From her campaign headquarters in the run-down Rainbow Village Shopping Center, Rep. Cynthia McKinney looks past GOP challenger John M. Mitnick to her own pot of gold at the end of a brighter rainbow.
"I don't close any doors for myself, including governor, senator and vice president, too," she said in discussing her penchant for seeking battles that often don't need to be fought just now.
"Miss McKinney is left-wing and radical," Mr. Mitnick said, arguing that the new 4th District is well to the right of her. Despite that and a voter base that is 64 percent white, the race between the black incumbent and the Atlanta lawyer is rated by polls a tossup or in her favor.
"We're on the way up and she's on the way down," said the man the flamboyant Miss McKinney calls "another vote for Newt Gingrich."
Mr. Mitnick, 34, a high school debating champion who interrupted law school to study English juries at Oxford University, practices international business law and became a partner at an Atlanta law firm last year.
He is supported by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, whose Georgia director accused Miss McKinney of having the worst small-business voting record.
The National Jewish Coalition calls him an "outstanding leader," but Neil Rubin, editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times, said the Jewish community "is very torn" between backing a liberal and supporting a "moderately conservative" fellow Jew.
After her father, state Rep. Billy McKinney, called Mr. Mitnick "a racist Jew," she disavowed the remark, apologized and removed him from the campaign.
Miss McKinney, 41, is a University of Southern California graduate who served four years in the state House before election to Congress in 1992. She sits on the Agriculture, International Relations and Banking committees.
Lest any voter doubt her liberalism, Miss McKinney held a news conference this week to dramatize her stands on women's issues and announce enthusiastic endorsements by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the National Organization for Women (NOW), Handgun Control Inc. …