In a rather lengthy piece on Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and the Occupy Wall Street movement, reporter Kris Kitto obtains this nugget from Ralph Nader on Stein’s candidacy:
Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader says signature collection alone can consume a third-party campaign’s resources.
“By the time you finish, it’s Labor Day, and you’re exhausted, and you don’t have any money,” says Nader, adding that he sees promise in Stein. “She’s an M.D., which is a good advantage, since healthcare is a big issue … She has a good head on her shoulders.”
Nader’s comments certainly cannot be construed as an endorsement of Stein. Nevertheless, they are noteworthy given Nader’s history with the Green Party and its Presidential candidates. After serving as Green Party presidential nominee in 1996 and 2000 — and receiving 2.74% of the national popular vote in 2000 — Nader famously broke with the Green Party in 2004 and refused to seek its endorsement. The GP retaliated by nominating David Cobb for President rather than endorsing Nader’s independent ticket. The presence of an independent Nader candidacy on most state ballots in 2004 and 2008 significantly depressed Green Party presidential vote totals in those elections. Nader previously stated he would not be running again in 2012, but would instead be working to secure Democratic primary challengers for President Obama. However, little came of that effort. Nader’s positive comments about Stein in the Hill article may be his first positive comments about a Green Party presidential candidate since 2004.
Also of note in the article is Stein’s explanation of the origins of her campaign team:
After losing the 2002 race, she mounted losing campaigns in 2004, for the Massachusetts House of Representatives; in 2006, for Massachusetts Commonwealth secretary; and in 2010, again for the governorship. She won races for Lexington Town Meeting representative in 2005 and 2008.
“To my mind, low vote counts are not a reflection of a failed campaign,” she says.
What’s come out of her serial candidacy, Stein says, is an organization that will help her attack the monumental task that third-party candidates confront every presidential cycle: obtaining enough signatures to appear on the ballot.
In other words, Stein’s campaign team is not freshly created for this race; large portions of it have been with her through several campaigns since 2002.
Stein’s opponent for the Green Party nomination is Kent Mesplay. The party will choose its presidential nominee July 13-15, 2012, at its Baltimore convention.