Top McAuliffe Strategist Responds to Ralph Nader "Story"

Friday, May 29, 2009

I asked McAuliffe campaign senior strategist Mo Elleithee for his thoughts on the Ralph Nader "story." Here's what he had to say:
Back in 2003-04, Republican donors were aggressively funding Nader’s candidacy. The Democratic presidential candidates, and most party leaders were concerned that he would once again siphon enough votes away from the Democratic nominee in the general election to hand it to George W Bush.

So Terry, as DNC chair, engaged in a conversation with Nader to try to convince him not to run, or at the very least to not compete in the targeted battleground states. He made the case that if Nader truly cared about these issues, he was putting it all at risk by again potentially handing the election to Bush. He never offered him any money. He DID offer to make Ralph a part of the DNC surrogate operation, send him around the country to talk about his issues — which would have been a DNC funded operation, just as it was with a number of high profile surrogates to help with GOTV efforts.

I think most Democrats would agree that our country would be better off had Nader not run in 2000 or 2004. Nader has a history of frivolous attacks and accusations — he even filed lawsuits after the 2004 election against the DNC, the Kerry campaign and Terry personally. All three were thrown out.

I don’t think most Virginians are interested in looking backwards, and I don’t think they have much interest in Ralph Nader’s attempts to grab headlines — they care about who’s going to get our economy back on track. So that’s what Terry’s going to stay focused on.

And it might also be worth nothing that in the challenge filed by Democrats to Nader’s nomination papers in Pennsylvania, which was successful, the Pennsylvania trial court found that Nader’s “signature gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated upon this Court. The conduct of the [Nader campaign]. . . shocks the conscience of the Court.” In re Nomination Paper of Ralph Nader, 865 A.2d 8, 18 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004), affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, In re Nader, 905 A.2d 450 (2007).

This is the Ralph Nader that Terry was fighting in 2004, and why I don't find his current allegations very credible.
All I have to add is "thank you" to Terry McAuliffe for trying to stop four more disastrous years of Bush, Cheney, etc. I just wish John Kerry had won the election in 2004, and that Al Gore had become president in 2000 (I won't say "I wish he had won the election" because he DID win the popular vote and should have won the electoral vote if not for the Supreme Court's shenanigans).

P.S. I put "story" in quotes because this is a perfect example of the idiot corporate media having no clue what constitutes "news" or how to do critical analysis. Apparently, they'll just print anything by anybody and call it "news." And they criticize the blogs for being irresponsible?!?

UPDATE: A friend/Blue Virginia reader reminds me that the Democratic Party of Virginia challenged Ralph Nader's signatures in 2004. The person, who is heavily involved in Virginia Democratic politics, adds:
The challenge held and [Nader] did not win a spot on the Virginia ballot. the challenge was not to suppress votes/voters...He submitted fraudulent petitions with invalid signatures and did not meet the letter of the law for ballot access. They are trying to change the subject and make this all about poor Ralph.