The Nader Effect ...
Ralph Nader: Going, Going, Not Gone
The real question about Ralph Nader’s political nadir is this: are we there yet? Once he was the hero of Americans who wanted safer automobiles, drugs, toys and food. Since then, Mr. Nader has been known for running and running and running — and now running again for president.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, when the 73-year-old announced his candidacy for the fourth time, Mr. Nader tossed himself into the historical oddities bin with Harold Stassen (nine tries for the Republican nomination), Eugene Debs (five attempts with the Socialist Party) and Lyndon LaRouche (several tries with several parties).
Also-runners can make noise for a political cause or have a spoiling effect on one of the major party candidates that is greater than their impact on national policy. When Ross Perot ran in 1992, he spent a lot of his own money and ate into the Republican vote, helping President Bill Clinton get elected. His signature issues: curbing the national deficit and stopping jobs from leaving America. Seems almost quaint.