Monday, November 30, 2009

Will Nader run against Dodd?

NORFOLK — Could consumer activist and Winsted native Ralph Nader pitch a run as Connecticut’s next freshman senator?
The answer: Maybe.
When asked if he is considering running for the U.S. Senate as a candidate in 2010, Nader told a book discussion group gathered at the Norfolk Public Library on Nov. 28: "We’ll see." Nader, who has been on tour promoting his book "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!" said he has been getting a lot of feedback from Connecticut residents, activists and party members about a possible bid to unseat sitting U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd next year.
But in commenting about a possible senate run, Nader characterized the U.S. Senate’s format — specifically the hold of a super majority — as "restricting."
"(The senate) is paralyzing an already paralyzed government," the former 2000 and 2004 presidential candidate told the local residents packed in the library’s Great Room. Nader commented that bills sent over from the U.S. House often "die" in the U.S. Senate.
In an interview with The Register Citizen, Nader said Connecticut is fortunate to have the ability to allow multiple parties to sponsor a candidate. Recently the state’s Green Party has encouraged Nader to run, and if he decides to do so, Nader could be cross-endorsed by other minor parties.
"We want to help all of the small parties," Nader said. "Help them in the future to provide more competition."
He has described the current two-party system as having a hold on national politics. It remains to be seen whether Nader would decide to run independently or under a party endorsement.
But Nader declined to comment on his chances on winning a senate seat — against Dodd and whomever Republican hopeful gets the nod next year.
"I’m nowhere near to even being able to answer that question," he said, saying it was too early to tell.
The current political mood in the state at this point is very "anti-incumbent, I’m told," Nader said. In speaking about Dodd, he invoked Linda McMahon, a Republican vying for the spot, who was a former chief executive for World Wrestling Entertainment.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows McMahon leading Dodd 43 percent to 41 percent in a hypothetical match-up.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Nov. 12 showed 54 percent of voters disapprove of the job that Dodd is doing, up from 49 percent in September. The same survey showed the five-term incumbent Democrat particularly vulnerable among unaffiliated voters, the largest voting bloc in an otherwise Democratic-leaning state.
More than 100 people turned out to hear Nader talk in West Hartford, including some Green Party members who held signs that read, "Run Ralph Run!" The state’s Green Party has been stepping up efforts to encourage Nader to get into the race, saying this marks one of the best opportunities for the Greens to win a senate seat. Tim McKee, a Green Party spokesman in Connecticut, told the Associated Press Dodd’s low poll numbers give his party one of their best opportunities. Nader would not be a spoiler — something he was accused of in the 2000 presidential election, McKee said.
"A lot of Democrats would be upset about the prospect (of Nader entering the race). But we look at it as (he’s) already lost the seat," McKee told the AP.
In the 2000 presidential election, Nader ran as the Green Party’s candidate and got 2.7 percent of the vote. Nader told The Register Citizen that state residents want to see a senator who does "the right thing," specifically with senate banking legislation. Dodd, the state’s five-term senior senator, is the Senate Banking Committee Chairman and is responsible for much legislation passed by the committee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it may sound like Dodd is doomed, you must remember that the internet amplifies.

We'll see what comes, and I suspect Dodd will be re-elected. The online rantings of under-employed middle-aged men who can't handle their finances aside.

December 1, 2009 at 11:52 AM 

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