Monday, December 15, 2003

A cry from Dan Gilmartin:

ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! Is Nader on the Republican
National Committee payroll ???? We WOULD NOT
HAVE HAD BUSH without NADER !!!!


Nader eyeing another White House run
From Phil Hirschkorn

PRINCETON, New Jersey (CNN) -- Consumer advocate
Ralph Nader said Thursday he is leaning toward
another independent run for the presidency and
will make his decision public in January.

"We're testing the waters," Nader said in an
interview with CNN. "It's a high probability but
that is yet to be determined."

Nader has formed an exploratory committee for a
2004 run and said he would gauge his support
through the success of fund-raising efforts and
the number of volunteers who come forward.

The consumer advocate last made a bid for the
White House in 2000 on the Green Party ticket,
when he won about 3 percent of the popular vote
nationwide and got 5 percent or more in 12

In fact, some Democrats blamed Nader, 69, for
siphoning off votes that might have gone to
Democratic candidate Al Gore, especially in the
hard-fought state of Florida, where Nader took
97,000 votes.

"Gore beat Gore," Nader says to those charges.
"He didn't get Tennessee, his home state. That
would have made him president. And he blundered
in Florida and didn't ask for a statewide

"I would say to Democratic voters the following:
If you think that a third party candidacy is
going to take away votes and cost the Democrats
the election, you've got the power entirely
within your own franchise when you go to the
voting booth and vote for the Democrats," Nader

He said if he were to run, he would focus his
efforts on the third of the electorate that's not
aligned with either party and with the 100
million adults who are non-voters.

Nader was in Princeton Thursday for a strategy
session with Green Party activists to consider
the pros and cons of another race.

He said his decision will be twofold: whether to
run for the presidency at all, and whether to run
again on the Green Party ticket.

Meanwhile, the party is divided on another Nader

Green Party member Larry Barnett, the former
mayor of Sonoma, California, and now a member of
its city council, said the party's priority
should be defeating George W. Bush.

"Any diversion from that, even rooted in
principle, interferes with that goal," he said,
explaining why he's against another Nader run.

"I would urge him to throw his weight behind
whoever the Democratic Party puts up," Barnett

In assessing the current field of presidential
hopefuls, Nader said he supports some of their
platforms, but something's missing.

"I like some of the things that the Democratic
candidates are saying, but you have to hold their
feet to the fire," he said. "Sometimes that
requires competing candidacies, greater choice
and breaking up that exclusionary presidential
debate organization."

In the 2000 campaign, both Nader and independent
candidate Pat Buchanan were excluded from the
fall presidential debates between Gore and Bush.

"I think there's a great need for a progressive
candidate for the presidency," Nader said. "The
two parties are very much dialing for the same
commercial dollars. The two parties are ignoring
issues like a living wage."

In the 2000 race, Nader raised $8 million. He
said if he mounts another campaign he hopes to
raise between $5 million and $10 million.

Another factor in his decision will be how the
two main parties respond to a 25-page agenda he
has sent to them, to determine whether they are
addressing issues he believes are important.

"One of the justifications for this campaign is
to preserve and expand the right of third parties
and independent candidates to challenge the
two-party duopoly system," Nader said. "I see it
as a civil liberties issue of free speech."

CNN's Kelly Wallace contributed to this report.