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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Nader and the Reform Party 

The LA Times and the Reform Party USA website are reporting that:
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader won the Reform Party endorsement early today, a development that enables him to claim political kinship with 1990s insurgent Ross Perot and get on the ballot in toss-up states Florida and Michigan.

Whether Nader will actually appear as the Reform candidate next fall in those states and five others where the party has ballot lines is still an open question. But the endorsement, which under party rules is equivalent to a nomination, gives him the option to do so...

Nader contends that his candidacy is drawing voters from the right and the left who oppose Bush. As proof of what he says is his centrist appeal, he touted the endorsement of the party that Perot founded in 1995 to support his presidential bid. Perot, who also ran in 1992, billed himself as a fiscal conservative and good government advocate who would clean house in Washington. He drew millions of votes in both of his runs.

Conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan was the Reform nominee in 2000.

"This endorsement shows that our independent campaign is receiving support from across the political spectrum from people upset with President Bush and looking to shift the power back to the people, so a solution revolution can take hold and solve many of the nagging problems and injustices in our society," Nader said in a statement.
I'd like to make a few points about all of this.

First, the LA Times is correct in reporting that Buchanan won the party's nomination in 2000, and that Perot founded the party. On the other hand, what this story misses is that the Reform Party and Perot had an acrimonious divorce, after which Buchanan and the Natural Law Party's John Hagelin fought to take over the party apparatus (and its claims on matching funds and ballot access). While Buchanan won the fight, the party split into three offshoots, the American Reform Party (the original anti-Perot wing of the party), the Reform Party USA (which has now endorsed Nader, just as it did in 2000), and the Buchananite America First Party.

So what? So, Nader's claim (echoed by the Times) that right-wingers support him is more or less specious. The right-wing element which once was so prominent in the Reform Party has left the building and formed a separate party. When those guys (the America First Party) endorse Nader, THEN we'll have some news.

Second, Ralph Nader is a complete asshole.

Third, if you vote for him in November, I won't think much of you, either.

UPDATE: Political Wire, Captain's Quarters and Wizbang have more. So do Memeorandum and others.

UPDATE: I've toned the post down after further consideration.

UPDATE: The AP has missed this, too.

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