Friday, February 20, 2004

Run, Ralph, Run!

Fox News is reporting (here) that Ralph Nader will announce his candidacy for the presidency this weekend--as an independent. This is great news, not only for those of us who admire him personally (I voted for Nader in 1996 and 2000), but for President Bush, our commander in chief. You can be sure that Nader will be viciously attacked by Democrats, who hold him personally responsible for the 2000 defeat of Al Gore. (That's nonsense, of course. Nader was not and is not beholden to the party.)

Nader will receive votes from disaffected Democrats as well as independents like me. James Taranto reports today (here) that some Dean supporters are indicating an unwillingness to support the Democrat nominee. Some of them will undoubtedly vote for Nader, either out of spite toward the nominee (John Kerry or John Edwards) or in order to increase Howard Dean's chances in 2008. A Bush victory this fall will mean a wide-open race for president in 2008. It could be Howard Dean against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination. The screamer versus the schemer. Things do be getting interesting!

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "And Now There Are Two" (editorial, Feb. 19):

By whittling down a broad array of candidates and choices to two men who are all but interchangeable, the primary process has deprived people of a true choice. This has taken place in a small number of mostly rural states, with populations smaller than a single county in many of the more populous states yet to hold primaries.

While I will stay interested in the process and outcome of this campaign, I am unhappy that a tiny number of voters in the early primaries and caucuses had such a disproportionate effect on the shape of the campaign. Voters in the so-called Super Tuesday states have every right to be angry about being co-opted from the process.

San Diego, Feb. 19, 2004

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