Ralph Nader Exploring Presidential Bid

It looks like Ralph Nader is looking more strongly at jumping into the presidential race. From Ben Smith at Politico:

I just now spoke to Ralph Nader, who said the launch of his exploratory Web site wasn’t timed to Edwards’ withdrawal, but that Kucinich’s withdrawal had made space in the race for him.

“We’re testing the waters on the overriding issue of corporate control, of our political economy, and anything else the dogma of commercialism wants to latch on to,” he said.

He also said he’d make third-party ballot access a major issue, after what he sees as a “national conspiracy” by the Democratic Party to deny him a place on the ballot in 2004, subject of a recent lawsuit.

He also said he saw some overlap between his positions and Ron Paul’s.

“His position on corporatism is taking some people who think the overriding political issue is corporate domination,” he said. “But he has positions which are not acceptable - like he wants to acknowledge the regulatory agencies I helped create.”

What interests me the most is whether he’d be seeking the Green Party nomination or running as an independent. If he runs as an independent, not only will he have additional ballot access woes, but (assuming Cynthia McKinney wins the GP nomination) he’d be splitting a chunk of the left-leaning anti-war vote with her.

On the flip side of the coin, I wonder if Nader could win a Green Party nomination. First of all, McKinney will going to be tough to beat. Also, some Greens might suggest “been there, done that” about a Nader campaign and opt for a new approach.

Either way it goes down, it will be interesting to observe what happens. Best of luck to Nader and all of the GP presidential candidates.

UPDATE: The website is located here. Thanks, Fred C.

37 Responses to “Ralph Nader Exploring Presidential Bid”

  1. Trent Hill Says:

    I’d be interested to see what happens in a Nader-McKinney showdown. I suspect McKinney would win, with lots of greens wanting new blood and a female/minority candidate to attract new folks. Especially if Barak loses the Democratic nomination, McKinney will be a huge asset.
    A McKinney/Nader ticket would kill, as would a Nader/McKinney ticket—but im afraid that isnt going to happen, Nader’s ego seems to be too large.

  2. Mike Gillis Says:


  3. Richie Says:

    What is the address of his exploratory web site?

    I haven’t done much reading into this, so somebody is going to have to fill me in. Why did Nader run as an Independent in 2004, and not a Green? I can’t find anything that the Greens disagree with him about. Is there any indication what he is going to run under this year?

    Not that I would ever vote for him, I’m just extremely interested.

  4. Fred C. Says:

    http://www.naderexplore08.org/ ?

  5. Ben Says:

    The Greens shot themselves in the foot last time and nominated a no-name for their presidential run in 2004. It is shocking that this nominee actual ran on a “safe-state” strategy… or as I call it a “please-mister-democrat-sir-can-I havea-few-votes-please strategy”. This was in an effort to not seem like “spoilers”. Well they weren’t spoilers, but they also weren’t very effective. I sincerely hope that the Greens mount a strong and vibrant all out campaign against the poewrs that be. McKinney or Nader.

  6. Mike Says:

    I think it hurts a party to nominate the same candidate time after time. That’s why I was terribly disappointed when the LP nominated Browne for a second time.

  7. Jurgen Vsych Says:

    Nader’s campaign filmmaker, Jurgen Vsych, has just released her new book about the 2004 campaign, “What Was Ralph Nader Thinking?” Special price $19.95 (List price: $24.95) http://thewomandirector.com

  8. David Gaines Says:

    I’ve been a Green since 1999 and worked on the 2000 & 2004 Nader campaigns. I have no problem with either Ralph or Cynthia at the top of the ticket but my impression, such as it is, is that it’s Ralph’s nomination if he wants it. The Draft Nader movement within the Green Party is much larger and stronger than it was in 2004.

    I agree, however, that Ralph would be creating a gigantic problem both for himself and for the Green Party if he goes the independent route again. I would urge him as strongly as I can not to do that. I don’t know what argument one needs to make in that regard beyond his own ballot access experiences last time out.

  9. Brian Says:

    At least with Nadar or McKinney as the Green candidate maybe the Constitution Party wont have to hear as much whining about how a vote for the CP will help Hillary/Obama.

  10. Fred C. Says:

    “At least with Nadar or McKinney as the Green candidate maybe the Constitution Party wont have to hear as much whining about how a vote for the CP will help Hillary/Obama.”

    No, whoever loses in November is going to blame it on one third party or another. It’s much easier than confronting one’s own failings as a human being.

  11. Losertarian Says:

    Props to TPW for doing a good job lately not just focusing on LP and RP issues. I’m an anarcho-capitalist but I also just love third parties and I always wish I could hear more about CP GP and others. I’m certainly not going to do the work of reporting.

  12. Stephen Gordon Says:


    Thanks. The problem, sometimes, is that there is a lot more news out there on the RP front and I’m more connected on the LP side.

  13. citizen1 Says:

    I think Nader should run I am not a Nader supporter but he does represent a segment that no one else does. Bloomberg should run to.

  14. Robert Milnes Says:

    The best thing would be for the GP to endorse the LP ticket. Everyone would get behind that & all other third party/independents would lose their significance. It would actually have a chance to win (40% max) instead of just be another spoiler.

  15. will Says:

    robert go away

  16. taylor Says:

    PAUL - NADER 2008

  17. Robert Milnes Says:

    Will, aren’t you tired of banging your head against the wall?

  18. Johnny Cockring Says:

    Backatcha, milnes.

  19. Benji Rush Says:

    Ralph Nader/Ron Paul on the Libertarian ticket. I’d buy that for a dollar!

  20. Benji Rush Says:

    Or Bloomberg - Nader independent ticket. Look out for that one.

  21. Deran Says:

    I was WA state cochair for a time for the Nader ‘96 campaign, I’ve voted for Nader three times. I really think Mr. Nader needs to work to get his issues integrated into Ms. McKinney’s campaign. As said above, a McKinney/Nader ticket would be dy-no-mite! But I also agree it will probably never happen.

    I’d love to see McKinney and Nader team up to build a new, broader based independent progressive party. Or, maybe get in there, take over the GP, and clean out the refuse, and make the party in to something real?

  22. Nigel Watt Says:

    Milnes criticizing somebody for banging their head against a wall. Impressive.

  23. David Gaines Says:

    George Wallace and Strom Thurmond aside, right wing third parties never make any difference at the presidential level because Republicans, historically, are notoriously devoted to falling into line and thinking pragmatically. The left wing, on the other hand, can be counted on to splinter off into as many factions as possible. Even with a “name” candidate like Alan Keyes, the Constitution Party is very unlikely to play a role that’s any more significant than the one Michael Peroutka played in 2004 (unfortunately, from where I sit).

    And that’s one reason why the grief Nader supporters get is orders of magnitude beyond whatever criticism Constitution Party supporters get. I doubt most Republicans have even heard of the CP.

    By the way, how difficult is it to spell “N-a-d-e-r?” I can’t believe how often I see “Nadar” on these blogs.

  24. Robert Milnes Says:

    SDS may have trashed a few campuses, but I don’t think they ever elected anybody.

  25. Trent Hill Says:


    Im not sure how you figure that. Surely Howard Phillips and Bo Gritz havent had much of an effect, but Strom Thurmond and George Wallace were the “exceptions” because they were the storng candidates—the elected officials with nationwide name recognition. Picking a no name will, of course, relegate us to the dustbin of history. But someone like Sen. Smith could actually fetch a couple million votes.

  26. will Says:

    man i cant wait for this election, something is going to happen. its about time something new happens.-

    i love when milnes comments on my post by the way, personal attacks often come off as fairly funny. as for SDS, thrid party watch might want to take notice, the student movement aint a supporter of the democrats if someone on the left gets big, the got a huge grass root movement to draw from.

  27. will Says:

    they* got

  28. BillTx Says:

    Nader is a son of a whore. If he really cared about getting the progressive message out, he would step aside and let some fresh faces step forward. Or he could just endorse Cynthia McKinney and help her campaign out. And no, I don’t even care about the “Spoiler Factor” or Nader costing the Dems the White House. If the Democrats can’t get someone elected President this year, it’ll be their own fault.

    Nader is an old egomaniac and needs to just go away already.


    Don’t do it Nader. You have screwed up at least two elections. Stay out of this one! You haven’t been elected in the past runs. The people have spoken. Listen!

  30. Robert Milnes Says:

    Will, nothing new is going to happen. Nobody on the left will get big. Ever hear of fear of revolution? Why haven’t all the mad as hell leftists gather around someone like the anti-war rightists have with Ron Paul? When is the last time SDS trashed a campus? Just roll over & vote democrat.

  31. Preston Says:

    I do love Nader, and I would vote for him, especially with my candidate having dropped out (Edwards). But I do agree, his name has too much baggage—I would love to see him go out and campaign for someone else. That way he would get the votes of Nader diehards (like me), but people who didn’t like Nader could still be convinced for the fresh face (be it McKinney or what-not).
    And if Nader runs independent, especially with a strong candidate like McKinney in the GP, then I may actually begin to agree with the people who accuse him of egomania.

  32. Bri N. Says:

    Why do people keep buying into this egomania bull? What’s it based on? The only reason anyone has ever given me to claim he is an egomaniac is, when you come down to it, because he’s run for president. Okay, fine, but then they’re all egomaniacs and I’d prefer the one who channels his egomania by fighting for justice, safety and democracy his entire life and doesn’t take a rest just because he’s over 70.

    I guarantee the only reason for an independent run by Nader will be if the GP and/or McKinney gives him the impression they don’t want to run all out. That’s what happened in ‘04 and why he didn’t pursue the nomination but welcomed an endorsement from the GP (I’d recommend Howie Hawkins book Indpendent Politics, if you can find it, for more on this). If Greens don’t want to run all out, if they’d rather be less significant than be spoilers, then he’s going to opt to run independent again, because being able to take away the votes that the major candidates need is the ONLY way to get the vital issues and solutions heard (the ones the major parties don’t want to touch) and/or your agenda picked up. It’s not ego, it’s practical. And ironically, voting your hopes and dreams is the far more effective strategy for shifting power than what people generally call “strategic voting.”

  33. Ben Foster Says:

    Egomania?? I think that anyone who beleives they should be president is probably touched by this curse…. so why is it a negative for Ralph???

  34. Citizens For A Bet ter Veterans Home Says:

    Bri N and Ben Foster:

    From Ballot Access News, up close and personal!

    Now you cannot truthfully say you have not been told!

    [email protected] Says:
    January 30th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    As some one living in a state [California] where my vote is either an Anti Democratic Party protest or a part of a million vote landslide in the [D] column, I had no problem voting Perot/ Perot/ Nader/ Nader. I even thot that Boss Ross had a chance of taking it all by summer 1992.

    Nader: I first met the man in person in 2004. He is an American progressive icon and I do not regret my vote. How ever, each time I observed him at close range, he seemed, hmmmm, er, well, to put it politely, ‘past shipping date’!

    Also in September 2004, a supposedly independent, populist City Council member, Democrat Donna ‘Surfer Girl’ Frye, was also going the ‘write in’ route for City of San Diego mayor. Frye had had bad timing. Nader/ Camejo had had a bad staff of East Coast Know It All lawyers. These jerks argued with and screwed over the locals [fresh from a petition sucess in the 2003 historic recall of corrupt secular insider Governor Grey Davis!]. They recinded and re-recinded original bad legal advice and screwed over the effort big time! Duh!

    Deer caught in the head lights Nader, only having his state wide write in votes counted because of me, John Coffey, and Citizens For A Better Veterans Home, was able to endorse Ms Frye. Upon leaving San Diego for the last time that year, Unsafe At Any Speed author, was briefed on Frye’s parallel write effort.

    The silence was deafening! The blank look on Mister N’s face was a Viet Nam era ‘1000 meter stare’! He was given stamped, addressed letters and envelopes, and only needed to sign and mail to formally endorse Frye.


    It never happened!

    [Too arrogant or dumb or wedded failure to form alliances?]

    Even his web site and slogans. Not a word about the three bladed fan electric energy generator wind mill peace symbol! Having the gift of NADER’S RAIDERS he went with the utterly forgettable ‘Declare Your Independence’! Face it, with all the other obsticles that non Democrats and non GOP have, Nader maybe is just not smart enuf to get elected!

    I take no happiness in saying of of these things.

    1. [email protected] Says:
      January 30th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Use the slogan [and tee shirts and coffee cups]:
    Nader’s Raiders……..”

  35. Peter M. Says:

    The charge of Nader as an “egomaniac” probably comes from the fact that Nader didn’t really do much to help build the Green Party after the 2000 elections, and then took an independent course much to the detriment of the GP in 2004.

    If I were a Green Party activist, I’d want some candidate that can help build the Green Party as a social and political force, help get it rooted into communities, and generally be a factor inside the party after the presidential election is over. I may be wrong, but it doesn’t look like Nader did that. I don’t know if McKinney will do that either, though from this point it seems a little more likely.

  36. Alan MacDonald Says:

    Nader will run with Gore on a Green independent ticket and win the 2008 election by exposing and fighting against the corporatist Empire hiding behind this facade of ‘Vichy America’, which by November will have thrown the US into a second Great Depression and a greatly expanded war in the Middle East.

  37. Earl Divoky Says:

    Anytime a Third Party effort becomes wedded to a celebrity it runs the risk of becoming a personality cult. Theodore Roosevelt and Robert LaFollette both screwed over their supporters in their respective Progressive Parties (1912 and 1924). They took the enthusiasm and hopes of thousands of people and then dashed them—echoing Emily Latella’s “Never mind!” after the election. Sonia Johnson did the same thing to the Citizens Party in 1984, discarding it like a soggy kleenex afterwards and leading to its self-destruction in 1986. And Ross Perot? Well, where’s the Reform Party now without “Boss Ross?”

    You have to make a decision, are we expecting the voters to vote for our principles or whatever fool thing comes out of “Number One’s” mouth next? Nader doesn’t have a holistic political view outside of his corporate criticisms. He just adopts kneejerk positions in many cases that sound good at the time but come off as disturbingly elitist and tend to alienate the very people who should be supporting him. In one speech he said that local TV News programs shouldn’t include Sports and Weather segments. If you want a Weather Report just turn to The Weather Channel. He didn’t think it through! Here in Houston the weather can KILL you six different ways. His proposal would turn a free service into a FEE service. When a Chicago station tried a News Program along Nader’s lines they tanked in the ratings and had to go back to if-it-bleeds-it-leads. But that’s Nader all over—as long as it makes a good soundbite what’s the problem?

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