The Annals of Ralph

Jeff Alworth

Ralph Nader, with a chickenHere we are in the fat, lazy days of summer, when a young wonk's fancy turns to watching Ralph. Summer's no time for serious pursuits (which I guess explains the GOP's fascination with gay marriage), and amusing ourselves with Nader's latest stunt is akin to picking up a trashy novel.

To wit: Ralph will now try to make Oregon's ballot not with his actual running mate, Peter Camejo, but with a stand in.

State Elections Director John Lindback said Camejo could not be listed as Nader's running mate because he has not been a registered independent for the last 180 days. Camejo has instead been a prominent member of the Green Party in California, where he ran for governor under the party's banner last year.... Meanwhile, Kafoury said one of his legal assistants, Sandra Kucera, will be listed in Oregon as Nader's running mate.

Poor Ralph. Just four years ago, he was running as the Lefty King, and Oregon was his spiritual homeland. He had rock-star appeal, able to muster large hordes with a single press release. Now, even with the help of the hard right, he can't get a thousand people to attend his speeches. He might appear on the ballot, if at all, with the wrong Veep.

Kerry, meanwhile, is quickly turning it into a moot point. From a tight 5-point lead in late May, he has now opened the gap to over 9%. Even with the margin of error going Bush's way, Ralph's 2.3% doesn't appear to be a factor.

Once a hero to the left, then the man whose candidacy was dangerous at any speed, he has now become a summer diversion--a Raymond Chandler novel for our amusement.

Farewell, my Lovely...

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