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January 30, 2008

Speaking of Ralph Nader...

it now appears that he might be gearing up for another run for President, according to this new CNN story.  I found these excerpts from the story especially relevant in light of our discussion today:

Nader has launched an official exploratory committee Web site, and said he will formally make a decision in about a month.  He said he is certain to get in the race if he can demonstrate the ability to raise $10 million and recruit enough lawyers to deal with ballot access issues....

Nader said he finds Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both unacceptable candidates, and he said whichever wins the party's presidential nomination will not have an impact on his decision to run.  "They are both enthralled to the corporate powers," Nader said of the two leading Democrats....

Nader attracted close to 100,000 votes in Florida in 2000 — a state Al Gore ultimately lost to George Bush by approximately 500 votes. He brushes aside suggestions his candidacy this year may ultimately spoil the election for the Democratic Party. "Political bigotry will be the label on anybody who uses the word 'spoiler,' he said. "Because 'spoiler' means minor candidates are second class citizens. Either we have an equal right to run for election, or we are spoilers for each other trying to get each other's votes."


January 30, 2008 in Learning from Campaign 2008 | Permalink


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I can see his argument in principle but I honestly wish he wouldn't do this again because it's too idealistic and not grounded in reality. Even if he could reach the $10 million goal, which I doubt he could, there's no way his $10 million could square against Clinton or Obama's coffers, and like it's been observed before, money has a huge influence (if not THE deciding influence) in determining the elections.

The system will most likely weed Nader out, like it did with Edwards, Guiliani, Thompson, etc. Maybe a third party breaking into the 2-party system would be substantial change somehow to the electoral process - but this is going to be overwhelmed by the realities of money, recognition, power, connections. If he wants even a scintilla of making a good showing, he's needs a strategy more in-tune with reality than just what he has told CNN so far. His strategy last time didn't even do much and so far it looks like he's sticking to the same course...

Posted by: S. Lee | Jan 30, 2008 11:24:36 PM

If McCain gets the Republican nomination, I think Nader's effect will be minimized. McCain usually draws a good amount of independent votes as a more moderate candidate. While Nader may hurt the Democrats more, I think it won't be as extreme as his effect in 2000.

Posted by: Adam | Feb 1, 2008 9:06:33 AM

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