Democrats & Liberals Archives

Will Nader run? Today's the day.

Most people remember Ralph Nader as that guy who ran for president against Al Gore and George W. Bush in the messiest presidential election in our nation’s history. Nader was the Green Party candidate “outsider”, who ultimately only managed to garner a few percentage points in each state, but somehow may have made the difference in key states by drawing Democratic-leaning voters’ votes from Gore in seminal states like Florida.

Well, the latest buzz around the nation — television, the Internet, news radio, and elsewhere — is whether Ralph Nader will announce he is throwing his hat in the ring to run as an Independent candidate for president on Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press”. In a moment, we will look at who thinks Nader’s in and who thinks Nader’s out. But just before we look at that, I will offer my educated guess of what will happen: Ralph Nader will, in a number of hours, announce he will indeed enter the race.

Am I psychic? Do I have an anonymous inside source into the Nader camp? No, it is none of those things. I am just making this reasonable guess based on the way Nader has been speaking about his decision to enter the race, how his announcement has been hyped, and the way a part of his explanatory committee website is worded. (For the record, while I may agree with some of Nader's policies, I have to oppose the idea of him running in such an important election year, when it is almost impossible for him to win.)

The sheer number of television interviews Nader has done in the last week or so hyping the decision seems to point out that Nader will be running for president. Also, I've picked up almost a faceitious attempt to throw in "that is, if I decide to run" at the end of each paragraph he has said about why it would be a good idea, in his estimation, for him to run.

And then there's the Nader website. The front page which formerly just asked for people's opinions on whether or not he should run has been replaced with a separate request for people to volunteer in case he decides to run. And then there's the donate page, which is set up just like the pages of the Democratic presidential candidates, with a limit of $2000 to comply with campaign finance laws and the like. Just the request for money points to the idea that Nader will try a run for president. This all may simply be an attempt to garner national attention for Nader's platform, but all of this preparation leads me to think there are larger motives.

What they think.
You've read how I see things going Sunday morning, now let's what other notables are saying...

The Nation: "For the good of the country, the many causes you've championed and for your own good name -- don't run for president this year."

DNC Spokeswoman: "We would hope that he does not run, and have conveyed that message to him. We would be disappointed were he to announce his candidacy."

Wash. Post reporters Brian Faler and Paul Farhi: "Nader has said that if he runs (and you have to think he will, or "Meet the Press" would not be booking him) it would be as an independent rather than as a Green."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D): "I think the role at this point that he plays is a similar role to what he played last time, and that's a spoiler."

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe: "I don't want Ralph Nader's legacy that he got George Bush for eight years in this country. I'm urging everybody to talk to Ralph Nader. I'd love him to take a role with our party, to energize people, to get out there and get the message out."

Fox News Channel: "Members of the Republican and Democratic parties can breathe a sigh of relief this year -- even with the announcement by Ralph Nader that he is going to run as a third-party presidential candidate, analysts say it is unlikely a spoiler will upset this year's outcome."

Nader spokeswoman Linda Schade: "Schade declined to say what the decision would be, but the prominent staging of his announcement, following months of active fund-raising, suggests Nader, who turns 70 next week, is ready to take his progressive agenda directly to the voters, despite Democratic grumblings that he would only be helping Bush secure another term."

So there you have it, plus there are loads of 2000 Nader voters urging him not to run. We'll all find out what Nader has decided soon on "Meet the Press" and then all the analysis on what his decision means for the race will begin (or hasn't it before the fact already?). This situation definitely illustrates the schism developing between the two major parties and the "third party". Let's see what Nader has to say.

Posted by Anthony at February 22, 2004 3:45 AM