What an emotional rollercoaster the Green Party Presidential nomination contest has been! What a fascinating development, Independent Ralph Nader choosing Peter Camejo, the 2002-03 Green Party California gubernatorial candidate and, as the AP reported, who "ran for president as the Socialist Workers Party nominee in 1976," as his Vice-Presidential running mate, doing so despite his often-expressed and carried-through on plans to reach out to disaffected Republicans, conservative independents and what's left of the Reform Party!
It is clear to me that a primary reason Nader did so was because he realized that there is a very real possibility that he will not be endorsed in Milwaukee this coming Saturday. Even more, he probably came to realize that he overestimated what he could do without the Green Party and decided that he needed to reach out to an organization that, right now, collectively, is at best lukewarm to his candidacy.
Many questions spring to mind:
* Does the choosing of Camejo indicate a move away from the prioritizing of Republicans/conservatives/the Reform Party on Nader's part?
* Peter Camejo has said publicly that "Kerry will do what Bush wants to do better;" in other words, that Kerry is a greater evil than Bush. Nader has said consistently that his primary objective is to "retire Bush." What position will Nader/Camejo take?
* Along these lines, does Camejo's much harder line on the Democratic Party guarantee that, come September and October, the Nader/Camejo campaign will be going aggressively into close battleground states even though doing so will increase the possibility of Bush winning re-election?
* Nader has made a number of public comments critical of the Green Party, such as that it is growing too slowly. Does this decision indicate a change in what he thinks about the Greens?
* Nader has said repeatedly that he and he alone will decide, no matter what the national Greens do, as to if he runs on a Populist, Reform, Green or other line on a state by state basis. Given his V.P. decision, will Nader now agree that if he is endorsed by the Green Party that he will run on a Green Party line in all states where it has ballot access or where Greens put him on the ballot?
Still a lot of questions, four days before the national Green delegates will be voting.
The Green Party should see Nader's decision as a concrete demonstration that if we go about building our organization independent of his or anyone else's control, we can influence his and others' decisions. We are a political and organizational force that Nader decided he could not ignore.
This underlines why David Cobb continues to be the best choice for the Green Party for President.
David's priority continues to be building the Green Party as an internally democratic, grassroots based, on-going political institution. He has demonstrated this over the last many months of traveling and organizing. Indeed, if not for David's hard work and effective organizing, it is questionable if Nader would have made the Vice-Presidential choice that he did.
A Cobb nomination will mean that state Green parties on the ballot or who successfully petition after Milwaukee can be assured that there will be a Green Party line and a Green Presidential candidate to vote for on November 2.
A Cobb nomination will give us a Presidential candidate who is 100% committed to using his campaign to build upon what we have already accomplished this year and carry it forward not just until election day but post-November 2nd and into the coming years. No one except perhaps Ralph Nader knows what will come out of his Independent campaign.
Finally, a Cobb Green Party Presidential campaign will provide voters an option of a gender-balanced ticket, something neither the Republicans, Democrats nor Nader are providing. If nominated David will be proposing to the convention a Green Party leader who is a woman for Vice-President.
There continue to be many good reasons to support Cobb in Milwaukee. Grow, Greens, Grow!
Ted Glick is a delegate to the Green Party national convention. He can be reached at futurehopeTG@aol.com or 973-460-1458.
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