Nader will NOT run as…

Nader will NOT run as a Green, may run as independent

“My understanding is that, if Nader runs, he does not want to run a mediocre campaign, and he is trying to assess the political and resource variables on how he would run the most serious campaign possible to unseat George Bush,” <Green spokesperson Ross> Mirkarimi said. He said there appears to be “no consensus” within the Green Party over its approach to the 2004 campaign.

The divisions within the party were evident at a national meeting in July. The meeting was closed to the news media, but participants said it centered on party strategy in 2004.

Those present divided themselves into three groups: Those who wanted to run the strongest possible campaign throughout the country, those who wanted to run only in those areas where the Green Party candidate would not be a threat to cost the Democratic Party nominee electoral votes in the contest with Bush, and those who wanted to skip the 2004 campaign entirely and throw Green Party support behind the Democratic nominee.

Nader did the politically correct thing here. Support for him within the Green Party (GP) was lukewarm at best. And, to tell the truth, he hasn’t a whole lot of faith in the ability of the GP to run a national campaign either. So, this means the GP will probably run a party activist for President, and the front-runner currently appears to be David Cobb.

Trouble is, no one outside of GP activists knows who David Cobb is. This means Cobb will have serious trouble getting anywhere near the same media exposure that Nader gets, something which doesn’t bode well for getting votes. If the GP only polls 1-2% in 2004, then it may be seen, fairly or not, as having peaked in 2000.

Plus, given the strong and growing belief on the Left that Bush must go, a GP Presidential run will unquestionably be seen, again fairly or not, as a spoiler that could reelect Bush, and will thus be subject to withering attacks from all sides of the Left, and I’m not sure the GP has the resources or stamina to stand up to the attacks that I fear will be launched against it should they run a candidate for President in 2004.

The other option for the GP is to not run anyone, to loudly and openly say Bush must go, so hold your nose if needed and vote for the Democrat. This could be seen as a principled stance, and meanwhile, the GP could (and should) concentrate on running candidates at the local and state levels. Trouble is, given the bad blood between the GP and the Democratic Party, and the painful inability of the GP to arrive at consensus for anything remotely controversial, I don’t see this happening.

Nader did the right thing. The remaining choices for the GP, run someone most people have never heard of, or run no one at all, are both filled with peril.