Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nader's Motives: Help McCain? Yeah, Really

An article in Salon points out the real possibility that Nader is running for president of the U.S. to help out John McCain's candidacy.

...the evidence suggests another possible motive for Nader to run this year -- namely, that he hopes to help his longtime ally John McCain, to whom he owes at least one big favor. Nader is already focusing his fire on the Democrats, with his Web site featuring dozens of press releases attacking Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while none voice the slightest criticism of McCain. In his latest round of television appearances, Nader trained his fire directly on Obama.

And that "big favor" is the big help McCain gave to Nader back in his 2004 campaign, basically putting Nader on the ballot in Florida where he otherwise did not even qualify. But of course, it's more than just returning the favor...

Nader may actually be on the same page with McCain in more ways than one. the New York Times reported on Sept. 17, 2004, there was a political back story behind McCain's assistance to Nader. According to the Times, "Mr. Potter said that the Nader campaign first sought Mr. McCain's backing in the case last week and that subsequently the Bush campaign also asked him to get involved." (Candidate Nader and his running mate, Peter Camejo, issued a statement thanking McCain and the Reform Institute that is for some reason no longer available on the Nader campaign Web site.)

And the connections go way back:

The Naderite connections with McCain go back many years to the era when the Arizona senator displayed real maverick tendencies in jousting with corporate interests in the tobacco, telecommunications and automobile lobbies, as well as his strong support for campaign finance reform. Nostalgia for the old McCain may explain why Joan Claybrook, who directs the Nader-founded Public Citizen organization, stepped forward to defend him against the Times exposé of his relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. Meanwhile Claybrook, Nader and other reformers have said little or nothing about McCain's gaming of the public campaign finance system while voicing sharp criticism of Obama for waffling recently on his commitment to accept public financing.

Even some green groups feel that McCain, oddly enough, would be a better "environmental president" than either Clinton or Obama. That is, of course, ignoring the environmental impact of escalating wars... and the ever-impending ax of Armageddon that McCain likes to flirt with. After all, part of the Corporate Machine is the war machine and the prison machine, both of which McCain doesn't seem ready to "joust with" quite yet. But if Nader knows he can't win, why would he run, except to help McCain beat the Dems? It's the only answer that fits the data.

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