Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nader's Presidential Bid a Boon to GOP

I pretty much expected Ralph Nader to enter the race for the presidency at some point, and I'm glad he did (as long as he can't win anything!).

He's more likely to draw votes from the Democrats than the Republicans (the 2000 Florida results attest to that).

the Politico with more on the story (via Memeorandum):
Ralph Nader announced on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he'll run as a third-party, anti-corporate candidate for president this fall, which would be likely to drain votes from the Democratic nominee and provide a huge boon to Republicans.

Democrats say they will work behind the scenes — and use court challenges, if necessary — to try to thwart his access to ballots.

The longtime consumer activist said on "Meet the Press" that Washington has become "corporate occupied territory" and that none of the current presidential candidates are sufficiently addressing corporate crime, labor rights or Pentagon waste.

"In that context, I have decided to run for president," he told host Tim Russert.

Nader’s comments mirror those made in an interview with Politico last month, when he said he was considering a candidacy around "the overriding issue of corporate control, of our political economy and anything else the dogma of commercialism wants to latch on to."

Democrats and bloggers are already reacting with fury, fearing a rerun of 2000, when Nader drained crucial votes from Al Gore.

"'Loathe' isn't a strong enough word," said a senior adviser to the Clinton campaign.

The immediate question for Democrats is whether they'll be as ruthless as they were in 2004 in throwing procedural obstacles in the way of Nader's access to the ballot in key states.

Nader has a pending lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee on the issue and recently told Politico that he would make ballot access a central cause of a presidential campaign, which he restated on television Sunday morning.

He also said Sunday that he saw some overlap between his positions and those of libertarian-leaning Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

"His position on corporatism is taking some people who think the overriding political issue is corporate domination," he said. "But he has positions which are not acceptable — like he wants to abolish the regulatory agencies I helped create."
From the looks of this, the Democrats will need to siphon resources to fight Nader on ballot access issues, which helps the GOP as the party seeks to narrow the gap on measures like party finance and voter enthusiasm.

Nader's stated ideological affinity for Ron Paul is freaky. Thank goodness he's got a snowball's chance of winning anything.