Nader being Nader

New York University professer Tunku Varadarajan recently interviewed Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader (yes, he's still in the race, too) in the Wall Street Journal on the downfall of American politics.

His thoughts on Barack Obama
"He's really a . . . the Wall Street Journal's editorial page wouldn't describe him as such . . . but he's really a corporate Democrat. His record in the Senate is not one of challenging corporate power."

Why Obama isn't for fair trade and against special interests:
"Look at who gets the corporate money. Six out of seven industries giving money, through PACs and individual executives, etc., are giving more money to the Democrats than to the Republicans. I mean, John McCain's having trouble raising money, even now. Obama's taking large money from the securities industry, the health insurance industry . . . I've gotten used to this ritual where the companies give Democrats this leeway, and say, 'Well, Obama's gotta say that stuff, but he'll come around. There's no way he'll touch Nafta or touch the WTO.'"

So why isn't he supporting Hillary
"With her, we'll just get what Bill gave us. I think she's like Bill Clinton."

Did he cause Al Gore to lose the 2000 elections
Yes," says Mr. Nader, looking, for all the world, as if I'd asked him the silliest question. "Bush is the worst president we've ever had – in terms of damage to the nation, and incapacity."

Any regrets about the 2000 elections
"No . . . If the premise is that we have an equal right to run for election, no one's a 'spoiler' – unless we're all 'spoilers' of one another. So when they say, 'You cost Gore the election,' I say, 'I thought Bush took more votes from Gore.'"

What's his beef with the Democrats
"The Democrats hadn't been challenged from my side of the political spectrum since Henry Wallace," FDR's vice-president, who ran for president in 1948 as the nominee of the Progressive Party. "They're not used to third-party challenges, while the Republicans are challenged by the Libertarians all the time. So they still scapegoat the Green Party, instead of looking in the mirror and asking, 'Why didn't we landslide this bumbling governor from Texas?' And that's what they've been doing for eight years!

Why the media hates him
"I don't complain much publicly. I've been told by a lot of the television bookers around the country, 'Ralph, they don't like you.' So the door is shut. But I say to myself, 'Should we close down and go to Monterey and watch the whales?' No. Better to fight when you have a small chance, than to fight later when you have no chance at all."

For someone who doesn't complain much publicly, he does seem to have a lot to say.

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