ralph nader 2008 run? January 30, 2008Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, campaign finance, econ, environment, iraq war, news, politics.
Tags: barack obama, dennis kucinich, hillary clinton, john edwards, john mccain, progressive, ralph nader
Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who ran for president in 2000 and 2004, said he is considering another bid for the White House because he believes the current contenders aren’t standing up enough to corporate interests.
“Look at the major areas of injustice, deprivation and solutions that are not being addressed by the major candidates,” Nader, 73, said in a telephone interview today. Among other issues, he cited the need for a “practical timed withdrawal” from Iraq, programs to crack down on corporate fraud and a rearrangement of the U.S. tax system.
The campaign has set up an exploratory committee and is in the process of filing papers with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The committee’s Web site says Nader is “committed to challenging the corporate powers that have a hammerlock on our political and economic systems.”
Nader said he wants to spend the next month assessing the fundraising abilities of the campaign, gathering paid staff and volunteers and trying to win over an army of lawyers willing to work for free to fight for his access on ballots across the U.S. He said he would want to raise $10 million over the course of the campaign and initially get enough to cover operations.
By comparison, the top Democrats — New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama — each raised more than $100 million in political contributions last year.
Maybe the Democrats and Republicans will nominate Presidential candidates this year who will stand up against the war profiteers, the nuclear industry, the credit card industry, the corporate criminals, big oil, and the drug and health insurance industries.
We doubt it.
But hope springs eternal.
In the meantime, take a few minutes and explore with us an idea.
He was set to announce that he had formed an exploratory committee Wednesday, even before former Sen. John Edwards made it known that he’d be ending his candidacy. But with Edwards — who has made economic populism and ending poverty cornerstones of his campaign — leaving the Democratic field, Nader said, he feels his candidacy is more urgent than ever.
“When Kucinich threw in the towel, now you have Edwards gone — who’s going to carry the torch of democratic populism against the relentless domination of powerful corporations of our government?” Nader said. “You can’t just brush these issues to the side because the candidates are ignoring them.”
He has harsh words for the leading Democratic candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, chastising them for failing to advance aggressive plans to tax corporations more fairly, and to fight for a vastly higher minimum wage.
Obama, he said, is a particular disappointment, since his background suggests that he knows the importance of progressive issues yet hasn’t fought for them in the Senate.
“His record in the Senate is pretty mediocre,” Nader said. “His most distinctive characteristic is the extent to which he censors himself. He hasn’t performed as a really progressive first-term senator would.”
His “self-censorship,” Nader said, “is a reflection of character.”
Nader said he finds Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both unacceptable candidates, and he said whichever wins the party’s presidential nomination will not have an impact on his decision to run.
“They are both enthralled to the corporate powers,” Nader said of the two leading Democrats. “They’ve completely ignored the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability, they’ve ignored the out of control waste-fruad military expenditures, they hardly ever mention the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts, and giveaways, and they don’t talk about a living wage.”
He expressed particular disappointment with Obama, whose senate record he called “mediocre, and quite cautious.”
“It’s not that he doesn’t know what the score is, of course he does — look at his background, he knows plenty,” Nader said. “But he’s censoring himself.”