Nader’s running mate?

Here’s the scoop from BeyondChron:

At 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time today, presidential candidate Ralph Nader will announce his running mate at a Washington DC press conference. BeyondChron has learned that it will be former San Francisco Supervisor and Board President Matt Gonzalez. We were unaware of Gonzalez’s plans when he wrote a guest editorial for us yesterday, and so did not disclose it at the time.

The referenced guest editorial was one which went after Barack Obama on a variety of issues, including his very mixed record on Iraq and his vote in favor of the reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

UPDATE: I missed the MSNBC coverage, but will try to provide whatever video I can find of the news conference. In the meantime, USA Today is confirming BeyondChron’s story:

Ralph Nader, an independent candidate for president, just announced that former San Francisco Supervisor and Board President Matt Gonzalez will be his running mate in the November elections.

“We’re both honored to be running together and look forward to addressing issues, conditions and solutions ignored by the other major party candidates,” Nader tells reporters in Washington.

23 Responses to “Nader’s running mate?”

  1. Michael Says:

    MSNBC just covered the announcment for a minute or two. The coverage was kind of brutal. They didn’t waste any time in calling Nader desperate for only being able to find a city level V.P. with no foreign policy experience. They said that the democrats are covering the issues that Nader care about. MSNBC broke away long before Gonzalez began to speak.

  2. David Gaines Says:

    What a dis to Matt Gonzalez, who is quite a heroic figure and symbolic of the attention to America’s urban problems that Nader and the Green Party pay while the Democratic Party lets them rot. What difference does it make whether or not his running mate has foreign policy experience? When was the last time any 3rd party presidential candidate chose a foreign policy expert for a running mate?

    The Democrats are covering the issues that Nader cares about? That is absolutely hilarious. If MSNBC, and anyone else who makes that claim, actually listened to what Ralph says when he speaks it would be obvious to them that precisely the opposite is the case. Also, he keeps pointing out that it is far more than what they say that is important; it’s what they do versus what they say.

    What is the Democratic Party presidential candidate’s rhetoric, if any, going to be like regarding: ballot access and instant runoff voting? Going after the Dept. of Defense’s stranglehold on the budget? Ending the Cuba embargo? Stopping pharmaceutical companies from mangling our health care system? The institution of a penny-per-trade stock tax to pay for a shift in priorities from the federal government? Real campaign finance reform? The list goes on and on and on. Shame on MSNBC for being so lazy. I assume it wasn’t Chris Matthews who made that shallow observation.

    Having said all of that, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I’m surprised MSNBC even bothered.

  3. Bern Haggerty Says:

    This sets up a real nomination contest in the Green Party. Although I am sure no one in the corporate media will be paying any attention, I am eager to see the Nader-McKinney debates, and the Green Party convention in Chicago should be more exciting than ever.

    I remember worrying that the 2000 nomination was too much like a coronation for Nader. It was an exciting convention, but Nader won 90 percent of the delegates as I recall.

    Remember the disintegration of the Reform Party—and it’s 50-states ballot access—when after Perot left? I am hoping the Green Party can survive the nomination contest—assuming Nader seeks the nomination.

  4. Obamaphile Says:

    As an Obama socialist Democrat, I am hoping that the Green Party will not survive the nomination and will again be torn apart by feuding within itself. Getting the Republicans out is more important than anhything, no matter what it takes. Gonzales, who also ran for mayor of San Francisco, however, will probably help Nader a lot.

    The best thing Nader could do for his issues is to move to the far right, and try to get the votes of the McCain-hating conservatives. This would ensure Democratic victory.

  5. disinter Says:


    2008 Election Results Accidently Leaked!

  6. Michael Says:

    I think that the anchor was Contessa Brewer with a few newspaper reporter guests. Some of the usual talking heads, one from the “left” and one from the “right”. I have no horse in a possible Nader/ McKinney race, but it is frustrating to see the corporate media jump all over Nader.

  7. will Says:

    im disappointed, matt wont bring that much to the campaign, Mckinney would have really added to his race. the greens or nader i guess wont make much of an impact this cycle, maybe there will be some backlash once oboma gets elected and doesnt push through with any “change” i guess its going to be a while before we see a real strong leftist third party campaign.

  8. Green in Brooklyn Says:

    While I support McKinney, this will make the race for the Green Party nomination much more competitive. Before today I would have said that McKinney would win it on Nader fatigue, but Gonzales is an icon to many Greens, the closest we have some to a major local victory (and a symbol of Rethugs and Dems working together to defeat Greens, just as they worked together to defeat McKinney).

    I still think McKinney gets the nod, as she has a chance to expand the party’s bass in a much more meaningful way, and if she does defeat Nader for the nomination, she will get some major press attention, I’m guessing. I hope that a major cable network picks up one or more Nader-McKinney debates.

    The Chicago convention, held in the same hotel as the ‘68 Dem convention, will definitely be one to watch (and hopefully I’ll get to watch from inside)

    P.S. - Gonzales’ Beyond Chron editorial linked to above is a pretty damning indictment of Obama, and worth the read.

  9. johncjackson Says:

    OK. I read all this speculation about a “Green Party race” but the only news I see about Nader is an Independent run. Is there something that indicates he is a Green Party candidate?

    Is that how Green Party nominations work- the Pres and VP candidates are nominated as a ticket? ( I know in the LP, for example that the VP candidates run separately).

    Sorry if I missed this.

  10. David Gaines Says:

    jcj: It is still up in the air as to whether or not Ralph will be the GP candidate. He has sent out mixed signals in various speeches & interviews. Hopefully this will be clarified tonight at his joint appearance with Matt Gonzalez.

    The presidential and vice presidential candidates are not nominated as a ticket; the VP candidate is nominated in a manner similar to all other parties. Therefore, his choice of a running mate this early would seem to indicate that he is at least planning to strike out on his own.

    I will not support a Nader campaign if it goes head to head against a Green Party (and thus presumably Cynthia McKinney) campaign. And nobody I know wants to see a repeat of Nader vs. Cobb, especially when the Democrats will be even more united than during the Anybody But Bush era.

  11. Laine Says:

    According to this Associated Press article Nader stated today he will NOT run as a Green Party Candidate. I am really saddened by this turn of events as I hoped to support Nader on a Green ticket. I am certaintly split now over who I will support. I believe in building a Green Party however I know that McKinney will not be able to draw in enough voters on her own.

  12. David Says:

    Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez what a team, now this is something all progressives can support and work for.

  13. Laine Says:

    Here is the article I mentioned.

  14. David Gaines Says:

    Laine: Thanks for providing that link. I can’t say this news is a surprise. However, he doesn’t say whether or not he would accept a draft at the GP convention in July. I’m sure the movement supporting that will soldier on.

  15. Laine Says:

    I don’t think this decision will sway anyone in the remaining conventions it seems like the progressive vote will yet again be split this election. Do you really believe Nader will get the Green endorsement over McKinney? I voted for Nader in 04 over Cobb but I am not sure who to support now.

  16. Green in Brooklyn Says:


    Thanks for the link. Wow - that’s really sad news. Once again the Greens in California choose Nader over party building, and very sad to see us lose Matt Gonzales as well.

    Looks like 2004 all over again, with Green Nader supporters being siphoned off the try to get him on the ballot, splitting not only the vote but the resources to get Greens on the ballot. If he’s not running for the nomination he can’t get it under party rules - the best he could do would be a vote to not nominate anyone, and then vote to ENDORSE, as he tried in 2004. No WAY Nader will get the endorsement at the convention, tho. If he couldn’t against Cobb in 2004, he certainly won’t against a much stronger candidate in McKinney in July (no offense, David).

    The good news in all of this, if there is any, is that McKinney has now all but wrapped up the Green party nomination.

  17. johncjackson Says:

    Yeah, I was interpreting the early VP choice meant he was going completely independent. Not being familiar with the GP process, I was wondering if I was right to assume that.

  18. Matt, NJ Green Says:

    Yes, very sad for the Green party. I fear another 2004 split of the party. The AP story says he’s not “seeking” the GP nom. Does that also mean he won’t accept the nomination if it’s offered to him at the convention? Along with the 20+ state ballot lines? How does he expect to get on the ballot?

    It would have been more honest of him to say all this before the CA primary was held. He won the primary there and CA has by far the biggest delegation.

    I wish he were the GP candidate. But if he doesn’t want it… McKinney will be a good candidate. The pro-Nader Greens will probably claim the party is rigged against him (how, exactly??), but an indy campaign will not help build an alternative movement/party against the 2 old parties.

  19. NewFederalist Says:

    If Ralph Nader was serious about building an alternative political party he would just start one. His ego is sooooo huge he would have to start his own rather than relinquish any control to a Green Party national committee or however the Greens are organized. He should just start up another version of the Progressive Party or the People’s (Populist) Party so at least he would leave something in his wake. As an independent candidate he accomplishes nothing other than fracturing the liberal-progressive vote. While I am not left leaning on economic issues, I see this as a real shame and an opportunity lost.

  20. timothy west Says:

    there is not a politician alive who does not have a huge ego. Comes with the territory.

  21. BillTx Says:

    Then he can take his ego and shove it up his ass. He won’t get this leftie’s vote.

  22. David Gaines Says:

    BillTx: I’m sure Mr. Nader misses your vote terribly. I’m equally sure that Cynthia McKinney, who certainly displays no egotistical tendencies whatsoever, welcomes your thoughtful participation in her campaign. I’m not sure that someone who alleges that Shakespeare is “boring,” and needs to drop F-bombs in a blog accessible to children in order to do so, is of the proper mindset to provide much of a contribution.

    NewFederalist: I felt the way you do (minus the ego stuff, which I’ve always thought is just plain silly & knee-jerk) prior to last night, but it looks like Nader is, in fact, going to start a new party. This announcement at his campaign kickoff last night is part of what got me rethinking the whole 2008 thing from scratch, as I’ve posted in other blog entries elsewhere on this site.

  23. Phil Sawyer Says:

    Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez really need to begin a brand new political party - if they are not going after the nominations of any existing party. The base of support in this country for them to run as independents is simply not sufficient to make it happen.

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