Most people see Ralph Nader as a drooling nut job, someone that should be running around with a helmet on so he doesn’t do more damage to his already injured cerebral cortex. Not me though. To me, Ralph Nader is a real American Hero. Oh not because of his regular attacks on industry—thats the crazy part. But if it wasn’t for Nader Al Gore would have been President during 9/11, and he would have been more concerned about the “carbon footprint” of the fallen trade towers than waging war against the terrorists who attacked us.
Ralph is at it again, and for some reason I don’t understand, he is still much harder on the Democrats than the Republicans. Yesterday he basically called Senator Obama a tool of his handlers who keeps his real feelings silent to get elected. He said that Obama was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois and since he entered the Senate, began to pander to the Israel interests.
Nader unloads on Obama, Clinton
By: Mike Allen
February 25, 2008 06:13 AM EST Ralph Nader tells Politico he’s launched his independent candidacy for president in part because of what he sees as the spinelessness of the potential Democratic nominees, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).take our poll - story continues below
Nader said in an interview that Obama is an overly cautious captive of his handlers who has a “relatively mediocre” Senate record.
Clinton, Nader said, “is a panderer and a flatterer.”
The consumer advocate, lawyer and author launched his bid Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” delighting Republicans and worrying some Democrats, who say he could sap crucial votes — as he did in 2000 as the Green Party nominee — if the general election winds up being close.
Although some Democratic strategists believe Nader will wind up being a marginal force — more a joke than a nuisance — he said he’ll push to be included in presidential debates, through court action if necessary. Nader said he also has lined up pro bono lawyers to help him fight state-by-state ballot-access battles.
“Obviously, the system is triple-rigged against any small candidate,” he said. “All we can do is try to loosen it up, challenge it, bring it to account in some court cases and build for the future. We can also keep an exciting, practical, progressive agenda before the American people — get more people to run for local, state and national office.”
Obama on Sunday dismissed Nader as a perennial campaigner who was wrong in 2000 when he maintained there was no substantive difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
Nader called that “a verbal frolic and detour.”
“I think his handlers are getting him into verbal difficulties, because he’s making erroneous statements,” Nader said. “He’s going a hundred miles an hour, and he’s letting his handlers do the writing.”
“It’s all about political backbone,” Nader added. “His party has been gutless, clueless, spineless and he’s got to turn it around. If you look at his Senate record, it’s not reassuring. It’s a relatively mediocre one when it comes to standing up to corporate power.”
Nader, who turns 74 on Wednesday, also criticized Obama for “his belligerent talk toward Iran” and “his pandering on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”
“He just didn’t distinguish himself” in the Senate, Nader said. “And that’s not a very good sign. Because that’s the real Obama, as opposed to the campaign trail Obama. The real Obama is one who’s very cautious when it comes to challenging corporate power.”
Earlier, Obama had suggested Nader is self-centered, saying, “He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his work.”Nader responded: “Well, doesn’t he have a pretty high opinion of his work? I mean, for heaven’s sake, he’s a three-year senator out of the state senate in Illinois, and he’s running for president.”
Clinton on Sunday called Nader’s campaign “unfortunate.”
Nader said he believes Clinton’s current approach to campaigning “is basically a repudiation of her handlers and her political consultants, who really messed up her campaign.”
“Who’s the Hillary today, as compared to yesterday?” he said.
Asked how many lawyers he has to fight his ballot war, Nader said: “That has to be a trade secret, doesn’t it?”
Nader will have a much more difficult time having an impact this time than he did in 2000 because he will not be running as the nominee as a party. But he said he will try to get on ballots by cobbling together a confederation of third-party endorsements in various states — the Reform Party or Green Party there, an independent or populist party there.
On Nader’s Web site, he lists his roster of enemies: “Health Insurance Industry. Agribusiness Giants. Corporate Criminals. Nuclear Power. Big Banks. Drug Companies. Corporate Democrats. Polluters. Union busters. War profiteers. Credit Card Companies. Wall Street. Big Oil. Corporate Republicans.”
The site shows a lighting bolt over the ominous words, “Corporate Greed — Corporate Power — Corporate Control,” then a white: “People fighting back — Nader.”
Nader said that in past campaigns, Democrats have engaged in “street harassment” of his petitioners seeking signatures to get his name on various state ballots.
He said one of his first steps will be to “write an open letter to the nominee and say: You are now the nominee, or the presumptive nominee, and you’re really in charge of the Democratic National Committee, so you better control them, and restrain them.”
“If it’s Barack Obama, I’ll put some constitutional law references, because he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago law school,” Nader said mischievously. “They are going to be on notice, and they’re going to be challenged
One asset Nader brings to his underdog campaign is his media savvy, honed over decades of largely positive coverage of his consumer causes. His more than 40 years in the spotlight go back to his publication in 1965 of the landmark “Unsafe at Any Speed,” documenting resistance by car manufacturers to the safety measures like seat belts.
Several times during an interview taped last night for “Up To the Minute,” CBS News’ overnight broadcast, Nader squeezed in his Web site address — “vote Nader dot O-R-G — vote nader.org,” he said at one point.
After the 9:30 p.m. taping, he asked anchor Meg Oliver in New York: “OK, Meg, what does this play, three times? … What’s your estimated audience in that wee hour of the morning?”
“Oh, very good. I wish I knew that. I would have said something about that. OK. Next time!”
Nader was due back at the same studio at 6:30 a.m. for another interview