Nader sets up exploratory committee
Friends and supporters of Ralph Nader have set up an exploratory committee to prepare for a Presidential campaign. Nader is not officially angling for the Green Party nomination. Former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney is organizing inside the Greens to obtain the nomination, and may well get it.
Nader supporter Howie Hawkins has been appearing as a stand-in for Nader in some debates and Green primary registrations. As in 2004, Nader does not want to openly seek the Green nomination, it’s not clear why exactly. He has been upfront about wanting to found a broad populist movement for political change. [New parties established for the 2004 run were called “Populist Party” in Maryland and Arkansas]. Nader’s likely reasons for keeping arm’s length from the Greens would be:
He thinks the Greens are too overtly ideological to serve as a base for his project. (They might join it later, but wouldn’t draw in independents and Democrats)
The remnants of the Reform Party endorsed Nader in 2004 and might do it again, if Bloomberg is definitely out.
The most prominent state organizations descended from the Reform Party have begun to realign around the Independence Party of New York. They call it the Independence Party of America http://independencepartyofamerica.com/freedom/ on ballot in NY, OR, KS, MS, MN, soon to be in VA (as “Independent Green” ?) and DE.
The Reform franchise has been considerably reduced by infighting over jusut who or what consititutes the national party. Of the various factions, the National Committee headed by Rodney Martin has been on a winning streak and the factions are coming into alignment.
Personally, I would like to see Nader and McKinney pursue their own paths for now, then select each other for their running mate in the Summer. There is a lot of talk on listserves about DemoGreens backing McKinney and the real independents and radicals in the Greens going for Nader. That may be true in CA and NY, but out here in the sticks, we need to maximize our opportunities.