Ralph Nader: President Obama Will Be Primaried
Though he hasn’t ruled out a 2012 run himself, Ralph Nader reveals to The Hill that he’d prefer to have a fresh new face to challenge the Democratic President from the Left:
“… it’s time for someone else to continue. I’ve done it so many times. When I go around the country, I’m telling people they need to find somebody.”
He cites Obama’s recent deal with the Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans — which would add $700 billion to the national debt — to be the “last straw”.
Nader’s anger seems to reflect that of many from Obama’s own progressive base. Sam Stein of the Huffington Post reports that the House Democratic Caucus passed a motion this morning to reject Obama’s deal with the Republicans. Though the vote is nonbinding, it stands as a clear repudiation of Obama’s broken campaign promise to end Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, as well as his backroom deal making, which always seems to preclude progressives.
“There will be a primary. Just a question of how prominent a person [will run against Obama]. This deal is the last straw.”
“Obama’s position has been that the liberal, progressive wing has nowhere to go, therefore they can’t turn their back on the administration. But a challenge will hold his feet to the fire and signal that we do have somewhere to go.”
Nader goes on to question Obama’s character — now a familiar conversation piece within Progressive circles:
“[Obama] has no fixed principles. He’s opportunistic — he goes for expedience, like Clinton. Some call him temperamentally conflict-averse. If you want to be harsher, you say he has no principles and he’s opportunistic. [..]
“He’s a con man. I have no use for him,” Nader said. […]
“These are majoritarian positions. The polling shows that. Living wage, single payer, cracking down on corporate crime. … It’s time for someone to continue this.”
It will be interesting to see whether a champion of progressive ideals decides — like Nader — “enough is enough,” to then boldly throw his hat into the ring for 2012. But to do so will mean to taking on the deep-pocketed, establishment wing of the Democratic Party. And this means taking on the entrenched interests Obama has been cutting deals with since his inauguration.
Even with a disapproval rate now at 53%, defeating an incumbent Obama will be no cakewalk.