At a meeting with reporters in Chicago, IL late this afternoon Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama responded to comments made by Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader who claimed that Obama was trying to talk white, and exploit white guilt to get elected.
When he was asked about Nader’s comments Obama said, “What’s clear is, Ralph Nader hasn’t been paying attention to my speeches. Ralph Nader’s trying to get attention. He’s become a perennial political candidate. I think it’s a shame, because if you look at his legacy … it’s an extraordinary one. … At this point, he’s somebody who’s trying to get attention, whose campaign hasn’t gotten any traction.”
I think that Nader wasn’t just trying to get media attention for his campaign. To Ralph Nader, Barack Obama is another in a long line of corporate Democrats. Nader’s biggest problem with Obama is that is the Democrat isn’t far enough to the left. The race angle is getting all of the play in this story, but Ralph Nader isn’t a racist. I don’t think Nader sees race. In his ideology the world is corporate and anti-corporate.
I do agree with Obama that Nader has an amazing legacy. He has probably done more for his fellow citizens than any other U.S. private citizen of the past 100 years, and it is sad to Nader out there campaigning every four years. I do believe that Nader has hurt his legacy with his campaigns in 2004 and 2008, and I don’t think that Obama fits the Nader narrative of the corporate Democrat. Obama is the most liberal Democratic nominee since 1988, but he still needs to minimize the number of votes Nader could take away from him. That was the true intention of his response today.
Obama’s quote came from this story.