Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Nader Strikes Out
Ralph Nader, he of the big danger, the stealer-of-elections, looked like something less last night when he visited Portland. If Nader could call anyplace his psychic home, it would be the city of Roses. Before and after the 2000 election, he could raise a crowd of 10,000 merely by sending out a press release. In the time of Gush and Bore, Nader was king.
So it seemed like a fairly small task to assemble one-tenth that number--particularly when the goal is to get on the presidential ballot. Oregon law says that if you can get a thousand bodies to show at a rally, you've done enough to qualify as a legit candidate. Yet even with this carrot, Nader looked out at a crowd of only 750 last night at the Roseland Theater. Now he'll have to get on the ballot the hard way--finding 15,000 signatures. He thought he'd come home, hold a big rally, and immediately get on a ballot. Insta-momentum.
Instead, Nader ended up blaming the poor showing on the NCAA Championship Game (way to go Huskies!). Sure, Ralph--all those hipsters who were showing up at your rallies four years ago were home watching basketball. Riiiiiight.
For everyone who was looking at those national polling numbers with unease, look on this as a far better barometer. When Ralph needed a boost from his base, he came where they lived. But even in Portland, he found that there's no base left. He'll now struggle to even make the ballot here.
Breathe easy Bush ousters--Ralph isn't going to derail things this year.