PAGING PAT PAULSEN

In his continuing campaign to become a walking punchline, Ralph Nader is running for president. Again. Four years ago, Harold, Matt, Garance and I ruminated on the prospect of what then the second Nader run. We all agreed it was a really bad idea.

The question I'd like to hear Nader answer now is, "Why president?" I agree with much of the substantive critique Nader offers of the state of American government. But I have yet to hear him offer much of an explanation of why he thinks him embarking on another presidential campaign will do anything to address the problems he identifies. At the end of Nader for President 3.0, will corporate America's grip on the legislative process be loosened? Will we be closer to getting a more environmentally sound energy policy? Will the problem of widening inequality start to be addressed? Is there any imaginable way in which this campaign will have any impact on the problems he professes to care about?

Ralph Nader accomplished great things in his life. But at this point he's become simply pathetic, a man who seeks not meaningful change but attention, adulation, the ego boost that comes with an appearance on Meet the Press. It's just sad.

-- Paul Waldman

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