Monday, February 25, 2008


Ralph returns

And, so, Ralph Nader is running for president again. To that news, I have two thoughts:

  1. Who is surprised?
  2. So?
A report I heard on the radio this morning said that he asserts that his candidacy will not take votes away from the Democrats. Well, yeah, and that's because one would really have to be a fringe voter to vote for his sorry ass at this point. Mr Nader has become the William Jennings Bryan of our time, at least in terms of poor attempts at the presidency.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama are decrying his candidacy:

Told of Mr. Nader’s announcement on her campaign plane, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said: “Wow, that’s really unfortunate. I remember when he did this before. It’s not good for anybody, especially our country.”

Mr. Obama, campaigning in Ohio, said: “Ralph Nader deserves enormous credit for the work he did as a consumer advocate. But his function as a perennial candidate is not putting food on the table of workers.”

OK, Senator Obama's comment is pretty lame. But he makes up for it with this last word, referring to Mr Nader’s claim in 2000 that he was running because there was really little difference between Al Gore and George Bush:

Mr. Obama also criticized Mr. Nader for equating Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush: “Eight years later, people realize that Ralph did not know what he was talking about.”


Update, 27 Feb: One commentator's opinion on Mr Nader's candidacies, from the NY Times.


Ray said...

Eight years later, people realize that Ralph did not know what he was talking about

Well, I'm not so sure about that. It was blatantly obvious to me and many of my friends and colleagues that there was an almost infinite gulf between the two candidates. Since one has to presume that Nader is not unintelligent, and therefore must also have seen this difference, the only remaining logical conclusion is that he was lying.

Anonymous said...

I think that Harold Stassen might be a better analogy than William Jennings Bryan, but either one will do. As for his motivations, I agree with what ray says. He is a very dishonest man at the very least.

Barry Leiba said...

Re: dishonest vs "doesn't know what he's talking about"...

Maybe it's actually easier, politically, to accuse someone of being horridly wrong, deluded, or stupid... than lying. Hm, that's interesting.

scouter573 said...

Based on all he's done, I would start from the assumption that he's being honest. Well, I'll get all psychological on you and say that he *believes* he's being honest. However, I suggest his powers of self-assessment and introspection are dwarfed by his ego. I'm willing to grant that he's trying to do the right thing but that his ego warps his powers of analysis and perception. Sad, really. He'd be much more influential as an adviser to someone who might make a difference.

lidija said...

I think he's none of the above. He's being faithful to the group of people who want him elected - those who really want a third party. Whatever he might believe, he is representing a non-negligible number of people (his supporters, Ross Perot's...) who are either cynical or disenchanted or right (?) and lots of whom believe that due to both Dem and Rep politicians being so beholden to the corporations and their money, there truly isn't a difference when it comes to who's representing you. Perhaps it's still mostly on the fringe (not the sentiment but those who care about it a lot) but it is not unheard of. So, he's representing those people, or at least giving them lip service.