Ralph Nader: Enough 'Dynasty' Presidencies

Image: Ralph Nader: Enough 'Dynasty' Presidencies

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 11:17 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The nation has had enough "dynasty" presidencies, says Ralph Nader, and he'd like to see somebody else other than Hillary Clinton run for the White House on the Democratic side in 2016.

Perhaps, California Sen. Barbara Boxer would be a nice alternative, he suggested in an interview with Politico.

"We really need a dynasty now? We've had 12 years of the Bushes. What, do you want eight more years of the Clintons? Do we really want a redux here or do we want fresh energy and refresh redirections?," Nader, a former presidential candidate several times over who says he's finally done seeking the spot, told Politico.

Besides, Nader added, Hillary Clinton has a long list of issues that could turn out to be problems for the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state if she decides to run.

"She never saw a weapons system she didn't like, [and she] never challenged the Pentagon when she was on the Senate Armed Services Committee," Nader said.

He said Boxer would a good candidate, but assumes "she's not willing to take the step."

“They’re all deferring to Hillary and, let me tell you, anyone who thinks Hillary will have cakewalk three and a half years from the next presidential election better look back at 2008 and see if that was a cakewalk," Nader continued. "She’s going to have competitors.”

Nader said he'd like to see some of the nation's wealthiest and most qualified people make a run for the presidency, as independents or on the Democratic or Republican tickets. He said their wealth, which would finance a campaign, would make them beholden to no one.

“I’m going to find at least ten enlightened billionaires or multibillionaires and I’m going to have a criteria," Nader said. "Have they spoken out about where they think the country is going? And are they worried about it? And have they done things reflecting some sort of civic enlightenment and courage? And are they able to communicate? Obviously, they have the money. And I’m going to encourage them to run.”

Earlier this year, Nader said he expects New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make a run. “There are so many mega-billionaires now, a lot of whom are in their 40s and 50s, they’ll say, ‘Look, we’ve had enough, we are going to go for a three- or four-party race,’” he said “And all they’ve gotta do is write a check for themselves. So when someone like Mr. Bloomberg’s worth $27 billion, to write a $500 million check and not have to dial for dollars . . . tends to be attractive to a lot of voters.”

Nader made four runs for the White House himself as a third-party candidate. His most memorable run was in 2000, when some accused him of pulling votes away from then-Vice President Al Gore, handing the presidency to George W. Bush.

Regarding Bush, Nader said he was surprised to see Bush's public approval ratings improving, considering, as he put it, that Bush left the country in a "devastating foreign military quagmire" and gave "devastating tax cuts" to the wealthy that started the nation's "huge deficits.”

But he also criticized President Obama, describing him to Politico as "con man" on the economy.

“He told millions of Americans in 2008 running for president he was for a $9.50 minimum wage by 2011, never mentioned it in four years after that," Nader said. "Okay, and now see the State of the Union Address by President Obama in January and he said $9, not $9.50 by 2015, and he hasn’t said much at all since then.

"That’s what I mean by a con man. He raises the hopes for change and then he doesn’t follow through.”






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