Ralph Nader Running for President

Ralph Nader is making another presidential run, ABC News’ Rich Klein reports.

Ralph Nader Running for President 2008 Ralph Nader has formed a presidential exploratory committee, and said in an interview Wednesday that he will launch another presidential bid if he’s convinced he can raise enough money to appear on the vast majority of state ballots this fall. Nader, who ran as an independent candidate in each of the past three presidential elections, told ABCNews.com that he will run in 2008 if he is convinced over the next month that he would be able to raise $10 million over the course of the campaign — and attract enough lawyers willing to work free of charge to get his name on state ballots.

Nader said he filed papers with the Federal Election Commission and launched a Web site after Dennis Kucinich, a liberal Ohio congressman, announced his decision to withdraw from the presidential race last week.

He was set to announce that he had formed an exploratory committee Wednesday, even before former Sen. John Edwards made it known that he’d be ending his candidacy. But with Edwards — who has made economic populism and ending poverty cornerstones of his campaign — leaving the Democratic field, Nader said, he feels his candidacy is more urgent than ever. “When Kucinich threw in the towel, now you have Edwards gone — who’s going to carry the torch of democratic populism against the relentless domination of powerful corporations of our government?” Nader said. “You can’t just brush these issues to the side because the candidates are ignoring them.”

He has harsh words for the leading Democratic candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, chastising them for failing to advance aggressive plans to tax corporations more fairly, and to fight for a vastly higher minimum wage. Obama, he said, is a particular disappointment, since his background suggests that he knows the importance of progressive issues yet hasn’t fought for them in the Senate. “His record in the Senate is pretty mediocre,” Nader said. “His most distinctive characteristic is the extent to which he censors himself. He hasn’t performed as a really progressive first-term senator would.”

Ralph Nader: Because Barack Obama Just Isn’t Liberal Enough!

Seriously, the guy’s a vanity candidate who’ll simply serve as a spoiler, taking votes away from the Democratic nominee. The Republicans can certainly use the help this cycle.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tano says:

    What an absolute clown.

    If he had the slightest measure of integrity, he would have run in the Democratic primary. faced down the seething anger at him for the fiasco of ’00, and actually tried to build a constituency and a movement around his ideas.

    How painful it is to see him continuing to march down this path of folly. He has done so much to undermine all that he spent a lifetime working for, and now he seems to have a psychological need to keep going – as if his redemption can be found in repeating his errors.

    A sad and comical figure.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    If he runs, he will be as much of a non-factor as he was in 2004. In 2004, there were only two states who went for Bush where the percent of “others” (more than just Nader) was greater than the margin of victory. Iowa had a 0.67% margin for Bush and 0.54% vote for Nader. Iowa had a 0.79% margin for Bush and a 0.40% vote for Nader. Even if you assumed that both of those states flipped because of Nader (far from proven), then the EV would have gone from 286-251 to 274-263.

    In 2000, you could make a case that Nader’s votes in Florida or New Hampshire going to Gore would have flipped the EV result. But his magic is long gone.

  3. Gollum says:

    Iowa had a 0.67% margin for Bush and 0.54% vote for Nader. Iowa had a 0.79% margin for Bush and a 0.40% vote for Nader.

    YAJ – Did you mean New Mexico had a .0.79% margin for Bush?

  4. Tlaloc says:

    I quite respect Nader. I will not however be voting for him.

    Interpret that as you will.

  5. yetanotherjohn says:

    Gollum,

    Yeah. My bad. I got the two states mixed up in my mind and when I went back to put the lower margin first I miss edited it. I guess that’s why I’m not one of those high priced professional pundits.

  6. Paul says:

    I pretty much agree with yetanotherjohn, but I think Nader could help McCain more if Hillary is the Dem nominee than if Obama is. The far left dislikes Hillary almost as much as the far right does (check out her level of support on places like Daily Kos reader polls). One reason Nader did worse in 2004 than 2000 partly is because the left hates Bush more than anything, but with a much more moderate McCain and a disliked Hillary on the ballot, Nader will get protest votes. Not that it will matter, McCain would crush Hillary anyway.

    Now if Obama is the nominee, I’d see many fewer votes for Nader, and a much closer election. It is really pretty funny that Democratic primary voters think Hillary is anywhere close to as viable as Obama in the general. What’s new, these are the people who thought McGovern and Dukakis would be good nominees. 48% of the general electorate wouldn’t vote for her against Monty Burns, never mind war hero McCain.

  7. John Burgess says:

    Nader spoke to an earlier generation that was dissatisfied with the status quo and thought there were quick and easy and cheap answers. That role is now being filled by Ron Paul for a new generation that is more libertarian than liberal.

    Wherever Nader manages to get on the ballot, he’ll take votes from whomever is the DEM candidate. That’s a good thing in itself. Go Ralph! You moron.

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    Nader’s throwing his hat into the ring increases the likelihood that we’ll have four candidates on the ballot in November: the Democratic nominee, the Republican nominee, Nader, and Ron Paul whom I suspect will run on the Libertarian ticket.

    If Ron Paul, running as a Libertarian, secures, say, 2% of the vote, he’ll more than offset any harm done to the Democratic candidate by Nader’s running.

  9. Glenn Helms says:

    Run Ralph, run! As for taking votes from the Democratic presidential candidate: nonsense. Ralph Nader got approximately 97,000 votes in Florida in 2000. Why did Floridians vote for him? Answer: they didn’t want to vote for Bush or Gore. To suppose that they would have voted for Gore had Nader not been on the ballot is inane self-deception. They could have voted for other candidates on the ballot, or none at all. With or without Nader on the ballot, Bush still won by 538 votes. And he would have won by many more if the left-wing media hadn’t prematurely projected that Gore took Florida — knowing full well that the polls in the panhandle were still open and Republican voters were in the majority there.