Ralph Nader enters US Presidential race

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Perennial Presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday that he will be entering the race for the White House yet again.

Nader, 73, ran as an Independent in 2004 and as a Green Party candidate in 2000, a race in which he was blamed for spoiling former Vice President Al Gore’s chance for a clear victory.

Blogger Sandy Sand on OpEdNews.com perhaps summed up the response of many to the announcement by saying: “Just what we need.

“Ralph Nader to play the spoiler again. It takes a super inflated ego and major chutzpah to do that.”

Nader said he will run in the 2008 presidential race as an Independent third-party candidate, claiming the current front runners in the race are too entrenched with big business.

He said his bid for president seeks to “shift the power from the few to the many.”

“You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalised and disrespected,” he said.

“You go from Iraq, to Palestine to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts.

“Dissent is the mother of ascent. And in that context, I have decided to run for President,” Nader said.

Nader was heavily lambasted in the 2000 presidential race for taking votes away from Democratic nominee Al Gore.

Many critics blamed Nader for helping Republican George W Bush to be elected in that race, saying that if Nader had not run, Gore would have won with a clear and undeniable margin.

Now, Nader’s announcement he will enter the 2008 race is already under fire in the media, who are largely portraying him as defiant ‘spoiler’ candidate seeking to undermine the eventual Democratic nominee once again.

In a parody article posted on HuffingtonPost.com, comedian Andy Borowitz translates Nader’s announcement into what he feels the Independent candidate is really saying about entering the Presidential race.

Borowitz’s version has Nader telling Meet the Press’ Tim Russert:

“If I wreck the 2008 election, I intend to wreck it in all fifty states. I have no intention of being merely a regional spoiler.”

In Borowitz’s version, when Nader is asked if his run for president could spoil Barack Obama’s chances to be the first African-American presidential nominee, Nader sticks his fingers in his ears and responds, “Lalalalalalalala I can’t hear you.”

Although Borowitz’s translation of Nader’s decision to run for president might be harsh, the general response in the media to his decision seems to follow a similar vein.

New York Times blogger Tobin Harshaw led off his response to Nader’s announcement with the headline “A Third Time for the Third Wheel?”

Gather.com writer Devin Barber played on the title of Nader’s book Unsafe at any Speed with the headline: “Nader Announces White House Bid. Arrogant At Any Speed.”

Regardless of the media and blogger world’s responses to Nader’s announcement, however, Presidential candidate Barack Obama is unconcerned.

In a press conference on Saturday, according to the Washinton Times, Obama said:

“Anybody has the right to run for President if they file sufficient papers. The job of the Democratic Party is to be so compelling that a few percentage of the vote going to another candidate is not going to make any difference.”

Obama also made a rather pointed dig at Nader regarding his recent negative commentary toward the current Democratic candidates.

“Mr. Nader is somebody who, if you don’t listen and adopt all of his policies, thinks you’re not substantive,” Obama said.

“He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his own work.”

Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told CNN that Nader’s entry into the race will likely be good for the GOP.

“I think it always would probably pull votes away from the Democrats and not the Republicans, so naturally, Republicans would welcome his entry into the race.”

Nader said on Sunday anyone who believes he should not run for President is displaying “political bigotry,” according to ABC News.

He suggests his critics “should just sit on the sidelines and watch the two political parties own all the voters and turn the government over to big business.”

As for spoiling the race for the eventual Democratic nominee, Nader said on Meet the Press:

“If the Democrats can’t landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form.”

Ann Turner © 2008 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved