What Became of the Ralph Nader Primary Challenge Effort?

Dave Weigel addresses the Ralph Nader effort here.

Six weeks ago, word got out about a progressive project that could have Ralph Nader playing a familiar role: Electoral scold. He was the best-known member of a coalition to recruit five progressive candidates to run, as Democrats, against Barack Obama. At 4:30 p.m. today, the coalition was going to face its first deadline: qualifying to enter the New Hampshire primary.

Nader’s group won’t make the deadline.

“[Secretary of State] Bill Gardner switched the days on us,” Nader says. “He threatened to change the primary date after Nevada moved up its caucuses, and in the process, he moved up the filing deadline. So he’s pulled the rug out from under us — you think it’s late November, and all of a sudden it’s October 28.”

Nader is annoyed, and understandably so. “You ought to have one federal standard for every state’s elections,” he says…

See more …

Interestingly, look how much hostility there is to Nader at DemocraticUnderground.com.

7 thoughts on “What Became of the Ralph Nader Primary Challenge Effort?

  1. RedPhillips Post author

    How can anyone be that hostile to Nader? I’m a Constitution Party supporting right-wing paleocon, and I can’t help but respect Nader as a principled voice of opposition. The Democratic Underground folks come off like a bunch of rabid partisan shills. So far I only see one comment even supportive of the idea of a primary challenge.

    That said, when Nader said he was all but certain there would be a primary challenger, I assumed he knew something. I guess he didn’t. He shouldn’t have said that unless he already had someone lined up.

  2. Pingback: What Became of the Ralph Nader Primary Challenge Effort? | Conservative Heritage Times

  3. Gene Berkman

    Primary challenges to incumbent Presidents are very rare historically. In modern times there have been two significant primary challenges: Eugene McCarthy challenging Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and Ronald Reagan challenging Gerald Ford in 1976.

    McCarthy represented Democrats against LBJ’s war in Vietnam – a large constituency. Ronald Reagan had expected to run in 1976 with no incumbent after Nixon would have finished two terms. Gerald Ford was a weak incumbent who had not been elected, and the near success of Reagan’s challenge was possible because of the unusual manner in which Ford became President.

    The other challenges were much weaker – Ashbrook vs Nixon in 1972 collapsed quickly. Pat Buchanan’s campaign against GHW Bush in 1992 was more successful, but still marginal.

    The main effect of the Ashbrook campaign and Buchanan’s campaign in 1992 was to distract conservatives from building a third party challenge to the incumbent Republican.

    In 2012 there is no room on the left for a serious challenge to President Obama. Progressives are afraid that a conservative will take back the White House (an empty threat) and Nader’s association with a challenge will just further alienate progressive Democrats, who still hold a grudge over the 2000 election.

  4. Gene Berkman

    NF @ #4 – good point. I was going to mention Ted Kennedy’s challenge, but it seemed to be more ego-driven than based on issues. And I don’t remember just how far it got, but Carter did get re-nominated.

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