Ralph Runs Again

Renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced his intention
to run in this year’s presidential election as an independent on
MSNBC’s Meet the
Press
Sunday, saying: ‘Washington is now corporate occupied
territory. There’s a ‘for sale’ sign on almost every door of
agencies and departments where these corporations dominate and they
put their appointments in high office.’

The decision follows Nader’s bid for the White House on the
Green Party’s platform in 2000, when he won approximately three
percent of the vote, drawing accusations from critics that he
‘stole’ votes from Democratic candidate Al Gore and paved the way
for George W. Bush to become president.

Naturally, his announcement Sunday touched off another
firestorm, especially among Democrats and even some who supported
Nader’s candidacy in 2000.

Here are some of the reactions:

From the left:

  • The
    Democratic National Committee
    , Communications Director Debra
    DeShong: ‘We are very disappointed at Ralph Nader’s decision
    (Sunday). However, he has promised Chairman McAuliffe that if he
    were to run in this election, he would not criticize the Democratic
    nominee, but rather would focus on the failings of the Bush
    Administration. We take him at his word.’
  • Progressive news portal Alternet.org posted two articles
    critical of the decision. In
    The Lone
    Ranger of Righteousness
    , Paul Loeb reasons: ‘Yes, Nader has a
    legal right to do this. He also has a legal right to donate
    $100,000 to the Republican Party and become a Bush Pioneer. That
    doesn’t make it a good idea.’ In his piece
    Forget
    Nader, Hug Kucinich
    , Adam Werbach goes on the offensive: ‘Angry
    opposition is exactly what Nader needs to turn his last stand into
    the Alamo. At the moment he has as much support as the guy who
    walks around San Francisco with a sign that says the Martians have
    landed.’
  • The Green
    Party
    holds no grudges that Nader has decided not to run on
    their platform this time around. Here’s what they had to say in a
    press release: ‘Greens welcomed Ralph Nader’s entry into the
    presidential race (Sunday) as an independent, saying that Mr. Nader
    will take positions and raise issues of vital urgency in the 2004
    race for the White House.’
  • Howard Dean, a progressive candidate who recently abandoned his
    run for the Democratic nomination criticized Nader’s decision in a
    statement on his weblog,
    BlogForAmerica.com:
    ‘If George W. Bush is re-elected, the health, safety, consumer,
    environmental and open government provisions Ralph Nader has fought
    for will be undermined.’

  • The Nation
    , while calling Nader a member of its family,
    discouraged him from running for president: ‘Ralph, this is the
    wrong year for you to run: 2004 is not 2000. George W. Bush has led
    us into an illegal, pre-emptive war, and his defeat is critical.
    Moreover, the odds of this becoming a race between Bush and Bush
    Lite are almost nil.’
  • The website
    www.RalphDontRun.net
    calls the stakes far too high for Bush to defeat a divided liberal
    voter base again.

From the right:

  • Republican National Committee, Chairman Ed Gillespie was quoted
    in an
    AP
    article
    as saying, ‘If Ralph Nader runs, President Bush is
    going to be re-elected and if Ralph Nader doesn’t run, President
    Bush is going to be re-elected.’ Former RNC chairman and current
    governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour predicted, ‘It will make less
    difference than Democrats fear, but I know they’re very nervous
    about it.’
  • Conservative talk show pundit

    Rush Limbaugh
    gloated at the Democrats’ anxieties: ‘It’s a
    sheer delight to watch the media panic over this Ralph Nader
    announcement.’

The year is young, and the political season will continue to
heat up.

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