Hillary Clinton

Nader's Faders

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Roger Simon, who spoke to Ralph Nader about 15 minutes before I did, is getting gobs of attention for an interview in which Nader said he might run in 2008 and he thinks Hillary Clinton is a coward. Shocking! And both things that Nader has said before without much hesitation. In Mother Jones, from March:

I think Hillary Clinton is a militarist. She is a political coward.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, from February:

Asked specifically if he would run in 2008, Nader said it is "too early to say. … (I'm) considering it. We're going to see what the Democrats come up with."

And the question of whether Nader will run in 2008 really isn't that interesting. His moment was in 2000. The left wing of the Democratic base was fractured, angry, let down by the Clinton administration. Nader was able to raise millions of dollars and run with the support of hardscrabble political strategists and a raft of lefty celebrities. He got 2.9 million votes. Four years later he tried to run again, and it was a meltdown: He fell off the ballot in a bunch of states, the lefty establishment stuck their shivs in him, and he got less than 400,000 votes. Not only did he fail to spoil any states, his vote plummeted in safe Dem states like Vermont: 20,374 in 2000, 4,494 in 2004.

I just don't see a scenario where Nader affects the 2008 election. The disgruntled voters on the right and in the middle are going to be looking at Bloomberg or, if the LP or a right-wing third party nominates a real candidate, one of those parties. (Someone who ran on the Constitution ticket with a few million and Pat Buchanan's message from 2000 could play well with the irate anti-immigration sector of the GOP base.) If Cynthia McKinney actually runs and wins the Green nomination, there's no doubt she'd get more votes than Nader.

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  1. If Cynthia McKinney actually runs and wins the Green nomination, there’s no doubt she’d get more votes than Nader.

    If Pat Paulson were alive today, he’d probably get more votes than Ralph Nader.

  2. Are there two Cynthia McKinneys? Ya’ll can’t mean the Cynthia McKinney from around the Atlanta Georgia area is a viable candidate for any office outside of her home stompin’ grounds.

    CB
    (I live around Atlanta, and have watched her antics for years. So you MUST be talking about some other McKinney… please… please… tell me that there aren’t THAT many stupid people in America…)

  3. Security personnel beware!

  4. I think Pat Paulson would get more votes even dead. Lefties have long memories with which to hold grudges, and many of my lefty friends hold Nader responsible for the sins of the Bush administration because of 2000.

  5. Yup, I remember Ralph “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore” Nader.

  6. I just don’t see a scenario where Nader affects the 2008 election.

    Nader himself may be old news, but as you suggest with McKinney, a left wing spoiler could still emerge. It depends on whether the Democratic nominee has been a consistent opponent of the war, or at least is consistent in calling for withdrawal ASAP.

    If the Dems nominate somebody with a mixed record on the war, or who cannot credibly promise to bring the troops home ASAP, I expect that there will be some seriously pissed off people looking to vote third party.

    And I’ll be one of them. I won’t vote for a Green, but if the Dems don’t nominate somebody who is guaranteed to bring the troops home ASAP I’ll damn sure either vote LP or write in Ron Paul.

  7. ASAP? Watch out for vaguaries in that, Bush says he’ll bring them home ASAP, it’s just not “P” yet.

  8. By the summer and fall of 08, thoreau, the Republican nominee is going to be promising to bring the troops home, too – and that’s only if Congress hasn’t already mandated an end to the war.

    Especially since it looks like it’s going to be Rudy. He’s been avoiding a position on the war for months, and country on the “Do you know who I am?” factor to keep anyone from noticing.

  9. country s/b counting.

  10. Dr T,

    Would Hillary be that person?

  11. No way will I vote for Hillary, kwais. Leaving aside the war, I simply will not vote for a close family member of a former President.

    (I say “close” because I couldn’t care less if it turns out that one of the candidates is the great great great nephew of the cousin of William McKinley or something.)

  12. Would her stance on the war disqualify her in you view though?

  13. kwais-

    Yes, her stance on the war has been very inconsistent, and hence I cannot trust any promise she makes.

  14. A little off topic, but I seriously do not get how Hillary is considered to be an “experienced” candidate. She’s had less time in public office than Obama, and only four more years in the US Senate than he.

    We’re not seriously giving her “experience” credit for being married to the President, are we? Doesn’t that kind of go against the feminist idea that women aren’t merely extensions of their husbands?

  15. Doesn’t that kind of go against the feminist idea that women aren’t merely extensions of their husbands?

    Hilary would dress up like a Victorian wife/pet if it would get her into office…

  16. Crimethink,
    All feminist ideas implode around the Clintons.

    Ask them to tell you why they think Juanita Broderick is lying when she claims Bill raped her.

    Or why is is acceptable to have a sexual harrasser in public office just because he is pro-choice.

    Or why Hillary was right to stick with her cheating husband for political gain.

  17. Hilary would dress up like a Victorian wife/pet if it would get her into office…

    So would most of the male candidates. Have you not seen pictures from Iowa before the caucuses?

  18. crimethink,

    Hillary wasn’t just “married to the president” from 1993-2001, the way Babs or Nancy or Betty or Ladybird were. She was a top campaign and White House advisor, involved in senior-level decision making. More like David Gergen, less like Laura Bush.

  19. joe,

    And she had that position because…

    In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that Hillary’s status always gave me the creeps. I really don’t like the idea of the president having an advisor who he’s sleeping with. I mean, he would have no problem ignoring and/or firing Gergen if he was giving lousy advice, but that’s harder to do when it’s your wife talking.

  20. “he would have no problem ignoring and/or firing Gergen if he was giving lousy advice, but that’s harder to do when it’s your wife talking.”

    Uh, crimethink, ignoring your wife is one of the first survival skills a married man employs.

  21. “I think Hillary Clinton is a militarist. She is a political coward.”

    She’s a political whore.

  22. “A little off topic, but I seriously do not get how Hillary is considered to be an “experienced” candidate. She’s had less time in public office than Obama, and only four more years in the US Senate than he.”

    But Crimethink, didn’t you know she was co-president for 8 years?

  23. crimethink,

    “And she had that position because…”

    The president knew her, and trusted her with a high-level position. You know, live every Senior Counsellor to the President that has ever worked in the White House.

    What, you’re telling me that highly-qualified people get jobs through social connections, too? Say it ain’t so!

    I think your point about her being too close is a fair one, but it’s one that goes against Bill’s hiring policies, not Hillary’s competance of qualifications for the job.

  24. “I really don’t like the idea of the president having an advisor who he’s sleeping with.”

    He wasn’t!

  25. “If Pat Paulson were alive today, he’d probably get more votes than Ralph Nader.”

    If Pat Paulson RAN, he’d probably get more votes than Ralph Nader.

    Fixed that typo for ya, J sub D.

  26. He wasn’t!

    Zing!

  27. “Uh, crimethink, ignoring your wife is one of the first survival skills a married man employs.”

    Uh, crimethink, ignoring your wife while pretending to care deeply is one of the first survival skills a married man employs.

    Fixed that for you, Col Dubois. Your original formulation gets the nookie factory shut down right quick.

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