The Third Man


Ralph Nader was booed when he introduced Mike Gravel at Take Back America, but he hung around the ground floor for some interviews. I'm having YouTube problems, but here's the gist of a few questions I asked about the third parties.

– Nader is fascinated by a possible Michael Bloomberg presidential run. "He doesn't have to become the Unity08 candidate. He's too big for them – he could turn it into a three-cornered election." A Democrat-Republican-Bloomberg race would destroy the status quo because "it'd be the ultimate money election – a multi-billionaire comes in and he tells the people, "I can't be bought, because I bought myself." That is a resonating comment for people… People say to themselves: "Hey, this guy's a self-made man and he won't be beholden to the big boys."

– But he won't endorse Bloomberg. "You can be beholden to the big boys in your mind." His beef: Bloomberg has "been very soft on corporate welfare" and tried to build a stadium with taxpayer dollars. "You never use taxpayer dollars on entertainment, for heaven's sake."

– Also, as much as he likes Bloomberg's potential, "I don't believe that any candidates who are on the scene believe in empowering the people." I asked why he endorsed Gravel, then. "No major candidates." The political system is biased against small candidates who don't show up in polls, thus never getting the coverage and momentum they need to surge.

– Nader thinks Cynthia McKinney would be a strong Green Party presidential candidate. "I think she has a good chance to get the nomination. She has Green values: She spoke out against the war. She's strong on Green Party issues including justice for the Palestinian people, a fair tax code, and abolishing poverty."

– The Democrats will win a "historic landslide" in 2008, with or without McKinney in the race. "The only people who could muck it up are the Democrats, if they implode."

I asked some stuff about Ron Paul, too (a back-of-the-pack candidate whose fundraising is going far better than Nader's theories would ever predict) and I'm waiting for the YouTube tubes to unclog so I can throw that up.