Skip to comments.Nader: White House Pressured Democrats Not To Challenge Obama
Posted on 01/08/2012 12:13:28 PM PST by Son House
Ralph Nader is accusing the White House of applying political pressure to stop Democrats who were considering a primary challenge against the president.
The consumer activist and former presidential candidate, who had been searching for a prominent Democrat to challenge President Obama, told The Hill he has given up his effort.
I hate to say but its over, Nader told The Hill.
Last year, Nader said there was an almost 100 percent chance Obama would face a primary challenge.
Nader explained that he had planned to organize a slate of six candidates to primary Obama on a variety of issues. The plan didnt work out though, Nader said, partially blaming those who are working to get Obama reelected.
The minute any name was mentioned ... they made the calls, Nader said of the White Houses efforts. They jumped like a cat.
Nader said its understandable why pressure from the Obama administration would deter liberal candidates.
The retaliation is incredible, Nader said.
For example, he said if former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) had opted to run against Obama, his future in the Democratic Party would be finished.
Feingold, who considered running for the White House in 2008, has repeatedly said he will not challenge Obama and supports the presidents reelection efforts.
Obamas reelection campaign strongly denied it discouraged potential primary candidates. In response to the campaigns comments, Nader said that it wasnt necessarily an official effort, but certainly came from people with close ties to the White House and Obamas bid for second term.
There were other reasons why Naders initiative collapsed, he said. He cited the New Hampshire secretary of States decision to move the states primary up to Jan. 10. Nader and other liberal activists had wanted to make a big splash in the Granite State, which holds the first-in-the-nation primary.
But the states scheduling decision minimized the amount of time to get organized.
Still, Nader said he was able to line up candidates for a primary challenge, including a former congressman. He would not name names, citing the fear of political retribution.
Nader and others on the left have been disappointed with Obamas presidency, citing the Afghanistan war, the lack of a public option in healthcare reform and the 2010 extension of George W. Bushs tax rates for the wealthy.
Nader said the goal of a primary challenge would not have been to defeat Obama. Instead, it would have forced Obama to pay more attention to his liberal base, he maintains.
Last summer, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said a primary contest would benefit the left because it would give us back the candidate we had three years ago.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) at that time said a primary challenge would be healthy for the Democratic Party.
And in July, liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said, I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.
Presidential history, however, suggests that a primary challenge would have weakened Obama.
Presidents Ford, Carter, and George H.W. Bush all faced primary challenges during their reelection campaigns and all lost in the general election. Some political analysts also attribute Vice President Al Gores defeat in 2000 to former Sen. Bill Bradleys primary challenge.
Others have also pointed to Naders 2000 bid as a spoiler for Gore. In the swing state of Florida that year, Nader received 97,488 votes. Gore officially lost the Sunshine State by 537 votes.
While parts of the left are dismayed with Obama, there are many leading progressives who believe a primary challenge would be political suicide.
The co-chairmen of the House Progressive Caucus, Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), have both said the Democratic Party needs to be 100 percent behind Obama.
Ellison in September claimed a primary opponent would undermine our unity, and we need everybody in the same boat.
Former Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) this week said that Nader bears a lot of the responsibility for George W. Bush for eight years and scoffed at the effort to challenge Obama from the left.
Obey told The Hill, I mean lets get serious: We have the gravest threat to progressive government that I have seen in all the years I've seen in politics.
And if Obama cant win in the next election, progressivism will take a huge, huge hit. Anybody who wants to nitpick with him as the nominee of our party is smoking something that isnt legal. Its ridiculous. I mean we will rise or fall based on how Obama does.
Even a lot of DemocRATS are saying, “Anybody but Obama!”
Calling Cynthia McKinney, pick up the white phone...
as opposed to its opposite, "complete jahhh-whoren-alism" (credit term to Jay Severin).
They need not worry. Obama will win, I fear. The GOP will hand the presidential election to the democrats and will find a way to give them back the House. Unless we can wrest control of the GOP from the country club establishment, the the destruction of our republic will continue.
30 seconds left in 3rd qtr
Run Ralph, Run.
Another angle, that those who are working to get Obama reelected were out convincing Democrats he could win. The Republican debates could start to make them nervous as they realize the enormous distance between the stated goals and results, just look at the (non)affordable health care bill, was it the House bill, or the Senate bill? What-ever it was, it wasn’t what the Progressive Democrats wanted, and what Democrat isn’t a ‘Progressive’?
And ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’, where? Bragging about 200,000 jobs? After what Democrats have done legislatively, including Pelosi and all their Jobs bills, the 200,000 jobs is a very dismal performance. And a trend it is not, I’m sure we’ll hear terms like ‘fragile recovery’ several times in just the next week.
Aw, c’mon Ralph....in the words of John “Bluto” Blutarsky - was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Run Ralph, run!
Actually, Nader’s got one hope for a challenger, Democrat Presidential Candidate Darcy Richardson, and on his web site, http://www.darcy2012.com/, he’s counting down the days;
Countdown to the New Hampshire Primary... 01 days
Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama
It should die a miserable death. Our republic needs a Constitutional “Big Bang,” where a conservative Congress and President exercise every legitimate power they have to kill the progressive State.
Flood the zone. Imitate their tactics. Give them so much to scream about they cannot keep track of it all.
Our nation cannot withstand either four more Obama years nor a placeholder pubbie.
The petty little man who is the president doesn’t like to be told he’s not The One.
He truly is the perfect Democrat.
That's a sobering assessment. They now realize that everything for which they've worked (subversively and openly) the past several decades is at risk. That makes them more dangerous than ever.
We’re counting you and your wrinkled polyester suit, Ralphie!
Does that mean Nader has decided to cave as well, and not do a third party run, like he’s done in the past?
I disagree. Here is a legitimate Democrat primary challenger in New Hampshire who is far more mainstream than is Obama.
Seems so... OBozo, w/$1,000,000,000+ & MSM shilling for the Marxists. :-P
THE WHITE PHONE??? That’s RACIST!!!!!
And as good mac daddy plantation slaves they caved to the dictates of the liar-in-chief.
It looks like Ralphie Boy is going to have to step up to the plate.
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