The New York Times gives extended attention (for I'm guessing the last time this electoral season) to the Green Party's likely nominee, Jill Stein, who in an interesting coincidence already ran up against (and failed to beat) Mitt Romney in the Massachusetts 2002 gubernatorial race.
It is the typical third party candidate profile–no one's heard of her! She just might "cost Obama the election" in a swing state like Ohio! She has some interesting ideas whose actual effect on policy we won't bother to think about hard since we're only covering her for a lark!
Her core policies, as reported by the Times:
Ms. Stein says she emphasizes issues like ecological sustainability, racial and gender equality, and economic justice. The centerpiece of her platform is a Green New Deal, a twist on the Roosevelt-era programs intended to stimulate job growth and the depressed economy. It could be paid for by ending the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the campaign says, and by eliminating waste in the health care system. Beyond that, Ms. Stein favors a progressive income tax that would raise rates on the wealthy.
An analysis of the potential appeal of a candidate to Obama's left would have been an opportunity to get serious about why many progressives are, or should be, dissatisfied with President Obama on issues like war and civil liberties (a topic covered at Reason here, here, and here) but alas Stein herself seems uninterested in front and centering such issues.
David Weigel at Slate hits the piece for what he sees as analytical errors concerning Ralph Nader (the man whom many, and the Times, think put the party on the map with his 2000 run and gave it whatever prominence and success it had, Weigel thinks in fact was its ruination by his decision to run totally independent in '04 and '08) and fact errors (the Times said Stein would be the first Green to win federal matching funds, when Cynthia McKinney did in '08). (Thanks to commenter Mo for pointing out that Weigel corrected his correction–the funds McKinney received were not "federal matching funds.")
I blogged in February on Rosanne Barr's now aborted plan to win the Green Party nomination.