The phrase “Independent candidate” evokes a Pavlovian response from America’s perennial Presidential also-ran.
Ralph Nader pops up today to tell us Mike Bloomberg is interesting but unpredictable: "I really like the stand he took against smoking, but he goes along with corporate welfare in New York and tax-funded stadiums. So he is unfinished in that way."
In 2000, Nader finished Al Gore and gave us George Bush. Now he hints that, if Bloomberg is not up to the job, he may make himself available to finish off a Democratic candidate in ‘08, particularly one named Clinton.
"She is a political coward," Nader says. "She goes around pandering to powerful interest groups on the one hand and flattering general audiences on the other. She doesn't even have the minimal political fortitude of her husband."
The response from the Clinton camp: "His entry into the race, even to those who voted for him in 2000, would be just another vainglorious effort to promote himself at the expense of the best interests of the public. Ralph Nader is unsafe in any election."
That may be a bit harsh. Try “irrelevant.”