Finally, there's my initial concern — that Stein lacks the gusto to channel so much Occupy and activist intensity. It's one shared by others including Grace Ross, a former Green-Rainbow candidate for governor who is now a registered Democrat. "A charismatic, strong-willed populist might begin to light a flame with all of that timber underneath the electorate," says Ross, "but my sense about Jill is that she's not a really outgoing person. For a party that doesn't have an activist in every precinct, you need someone to be out touching hands at every opportunity possible."

Listening to the candidate, though, as she crisscrosses the country on a shoestring budget, it seems that Stein has the chops to strike a match under at least one or two asses. "We need to replace the politics of fear with the politics of courage," she says. "We are the one option for doing that. This is a historical moment, and we can turn that breaking point into a tipping point, but only if we stand up for it, so hold on for your hat." ^

Chris Faraone's book on Occupy, 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, is in stores now. He can be reached at, or follow him on Twitter @fara1.

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