Obama Shifts Focus From Clinton To Nader
Presidential candidate Barack Obama is, according to aides, preparing to take on the leading Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who announced today to NBC's "Meet the Press" that he is entering the 2008 Presidential race.
"People should be able to vote for a candidate who gets things done, and I get things done," he said. "Well, besides being elected for President. Historically I haven't really gotten that done. But it'll be different this year!"
Obama has sent rival candidate Senator Hillary Clinton reeling after 10 straight primary defeats, but Nader has the advantage of not competing in any primary thus far, meaning that in theory, he could have won them.
Aware of this, the leading Democrat has decided to aim his resources at putting a stop to Nader's nascent campaign and its burgeoning momentum.
"Mr. Nader has proven that he will be an inadequate resident of the White House," said the Illinois Senator at a speech in Cleveland, OH. "He may be able to tighten every loose bolt and put seatbelts in every car in America, but where is his voting record? How does he plan to battle terrorists? There is no trail whatsoever to follow, and his hawkish pursuit of corporations suggests deep-seeded war-mongering, which will only lead us into a further quagmire in Iraq."
After already trading rhetoric with leading Republican candidate John McCain, Obama is now speaking out about Nader's inabilities as future Commander in Chief. Most insiders now agree that Nader's presence in the presidential campaign could be Obama's biggest hurdle.
"With the Democratic ticket pretty much in Senator Obama's hip-pocket, it's time for him to focus on the next step to the White House: defeating Green candidate Ralph Nader," said DC insider Rufus McCannish. "The Democrats had beaten the Republicans hands-down in 2000, but it was the powerful draw of the Green Party, taking in a momentous 2.7% of the national elections, that caused the Democratic Party to ultimately lose."
"Who knows how things would look now if the Democrats had won the majority of voters over?" he added.
Although many agree that Obama is right to target Nader, some caution that McCain could be a dark horse candidate, ultimately upsetting the fragile balance of the three-party system.
"Make no mistake, McCain is no spring chicken," said Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter. "He has the weight to pull an upset against the more established candidates. Nonetheless, Obama's greatest weakness may be voter draw to Nader's idealism, patriotism and oratory abilities. He should watch out."
Even as the Democrats enter the homestretch of the primaries, Alter says Obama should remain wary of his chances at winning the Presidential office with the kind of grass-roots operation that Nader is running.
"[Nader] has a very dedicated group of people behind him who are clamoring for change, but is it enough to propel him to the White House?" offered Alter. "Some may say that Senator McCain could play spoiler to the Democratic senator's chances of becoming President, but his voters are a very specific bunch, and don't have the sway with fence-sitters that Nader could command if Obama is not careful. This will be a fight to the finish."
For his part, McCain says he intends to take advantage of his right to run for President, regardless of any "spoiler" label that may now be placed upon him.
"My friends," he said with a smile. "My friends, my friends, in the United States of America."